Gokwe Town Council has introduced a food-for-work programme for prisoners and residents as a way of alleviating hunger in the town. Under the scheme, participating inmates from Gokwe Prison and residents are each paid $2 for working for four hours to enable them to buy food. The town council does not have any cleaners and those under the programme are involved in cleaning and refuse collection.
Gokwe town secretary Ms Melania Mandeya said the programme started in January and had been a success so far.
“The programme is benefiting the town council and the residents who are assisting in service delivery. This is a programme where residents come in and assist through cleaning and we pay them $2 per for four working hours. They assist in refuse collection, general clean-up and sprucing up Gokwe Town Centre,” she said.
The food-for-work programme in the cotton-farming town will cushion residents from the effects of the drought. “People received the programme well, mostly youths and underprivileged people in Nyaradza and Mapfungautsi high-density suburbs have been coming to help us improve on service delivery to achieve a clean and health hazard-free environment,” she said.
Gokwe district is facing food shortages due to low rainfall in the 2015-2016 agricultural season. Falling cotton prices have worsened matters.
The town council has been improving on service delivery and has resurfaced and rehabilitated its roads after the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) availed $69 000 for road works.