|Gweru-based journalist Locardia Mavhudzi|
GWERU – The Zimbabwe Civic Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (ZCSOSUNA) says the coronavirus-induced lockdown movement restrictions which included the closure of borders have had a severe negative impact on food security and nutrition.
Addressing members of the media at a meeting in Gweru, ZCSOSUNA national coordinator Kudakwashe Zombe said the closure of borders had a serious impact on food security since many citizens buy much of their groceries from neighbouring countries.
“The restrictions that were put in place by government on 30 March 2020 greatly affected our food supply chain. This is because as a country, we greatly rely on imports particularly on food and grain.
“Access to food markets was a major challenge due to movement restrictions. This resulted in the decline of the quality of nutrition especially among children since much of the food consumed at home was not fortified,” said Zombe.
He called upon the media and citizens to take issues of nutrition more seriously as they have an effect of the health of communities.
“We need to reverse the lack of information on nutrition. It is a serious issue that many people are not giving as much thought as is necessary. Let us all take up the food and nutrition advocacy to help government alleviate hunger and malnutrition,” he said.
ZCSOSUNA Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) officer Joel Chipfuwamuti said a recent United Nations (UN) report reveals that over a third of the population of children in African suffered from hunger and malnutrition.
He said a position paper had been written to government on how Covid-19 impacted food security while offering mechanisms of scaling up the national food security system.
“As an organisation, we did a position paper regarding the state and impact of Covid-19 and we hope to assist government efforts in addressing nutrition issues,” said Chipfuwamuti.
Gweru-based senior journalist Locadia Mavhudzi said it was of paramount importance for the media to be capacitated on the dissemination of food and nutrition information.