Project fears the worse

2020-04-09 06:00
Cofounder of Urban Rural Development and Capacity Building Project Nompumelelo Ngoqo with project administrator Khaya Sokwana.PHOTO: Unathi Obosw

Cofounder of Urban Rural Development and Capacity Building Project Nompumelelo Ngoqo with project administrator Khaya Sokwana.PHOTO: Unathi Obosw

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While the nation is concerned about the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, Langa resident Nompumelelo Ngoqo is concerned about those who benefit from her soup kitchen. She says they now have nothing to eat.

Ngoqo, the cofounder of Urban Rural Development and Capacity Building Project (URDCBP), said they supply more than 100 people with a meal weekly.

“We founded URDCBP in 2000. We were a group of four women. Our aim was to train people, particularly women, about gardening to help alleviate poverty in our communities,” said Ngoqo, adding that they have 120 people who are supported by the project and another 350 people working in the garden.

She said the project was registered to cater for 68 people but the numbers continued to grow and they could not chase them away.

“Most of our beneficiaries are referred to us by local clinics. The majority of them are people suffering from chronic diseases,” said Ngoqo.

Ngoqo added that before they halted the project on Thursday 26 March they gave each beneficiary a food parcel and vegetables to cook at home during the lockdown.

“The food that we gave them is enough and can last for 21 days, but I’ve heard that some of them sold the food parcels to people in Langa. My concern is, how are they going to take their treatment if they don’t have food? It is clear that they are defaulting the treatment,” she said.

The project administrator Khaya Sokwana stated that he wishes that president Cyril Ramaphosa will not extend the lockdown period. “Some of them when they first arrived here were so sick because they were defaulting the treatment and drinking alcohol excessively. Ever since they started receiving meals from the project their lives changed because they were able to eat and take their pills,” he said adding that in future they won’t give them food parcels directly, instead they will drop it at their family homes.

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