Rukum municipality introduces food for work relief programmeEach worker will receive 50kg rice for five days of labour, municipal officials say.
Aathbiskot Municipality in Rukum(West) has launched a food for work programme to support locals during the nationwide lockdown.
As part of the programme, authorities plan to distribute 50kg rice to each worker for at least five days of work. Mayor Gorkha Bahadur KC said the plan is to cover 10,000 families of Aathbiskot Ward No. 10 in the first phase.
“A group of 10 individuals have been formed and they have started working. We have requested them to maintain social distance while doing the job,” said KC.
Villagers are working on irrigation canals, rural roads, schools, drinking water projects and other development programmes. “In the past, relief distribution was only targeted at daily wage workers and impoverished households. But now, we have a working guideline to incorporate all residents,” said KC. “We are in need of development here and villagers are in need of food grains as most of them have no jobs to do during the pandemic.”
The municipality has allocated Rs 20 million for the food for work programme.
According to the municipality, 51 percent of people in Aathbiskot live below the poverty line.
The guideline says that the municipality will provide additional rice to impoverished families if any household does not wish to work. “But, impoverished family members will only get additional rice if they work for five or more days,” said KC.
The municipality plans to roll out the programme in wards 1 to 6 in the second phase. “We have notified all 14 wards to start the food for work programme from mid-May,” said KC.
Meanwhile, Ganga Ram Chanara, the ward chairman of Aathbiskot Ward No. 10, said, “Many workers (who went to India and various parts of the country) have returned to their villages without wages due to coronavirus. Now, all of them are staying at their homes without jobs. This programme will help address their problems for the time being.”
Sarjane Kami, a resident of Aathbiskot Ward No. 10 working for the rural road project, said, “It is a great relief in the time of pandemic. The municipality has provided work for five days now. We would be happy if we could work for more days.”