ZAKA - A village head last week told Zaka CARE officials that their organisation and other allied aid groups were promoting laziness by providing free food to people who end up relying on food handouts every year and failing to work for themselves.
Speaking at an Enhancing Nutrition, Stepping Up Resilience and Enterprise( ENSURE) meeting held in Jerera, Gwanya village head, Fidelis Gwanya said he was worried that people are no longer willing to work; comfortable that CARE will feed them.
The meeting was organised for different wards to discuss issues of gender equality and to find ways of fighting poverty.
"We live in the same region and we get the same rainfall amount but some people never produce enough food for themselves as they know CARE will provide," said Gwanya.
He encouraged people to adopt the zero tillage farming technique saying he has been getting enough food from it.
"People should practice alternative farming methods like zero tillage that suit local rainfall patterns. I have been encouraging my people to work hard and those who heed advice are not starving," Gwanya said.
Officials from the relief organisation, however, said their ultimate objective was to encourage self-sufficiency as hand-outs were not sustainable in the long run.
They also advised villagers to diversify their productive projects so that they would be able to sustain them even in the absence of funding.
At the meeting, men were encouraged to help their wives do household chores as well as be available when the women seek medical attention.
"During porridge distribution we ask individuals to produce baby clinic cards and Identity cards but if a man comes we won't ask for documents," said Philip Mandipasa.
Members of the male fora resolved to start road runner chicken project which has a ready market in Jerera while youth decided to form football club which will play against other ENSURE groups in the district.news