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“Please give us food”

"Please give us food"
FAMISHED: No food left in Teko's home

Plea hungry Francistowners

While Botswana continues its brave fight against Covid-19, the nationwide lockdown imposed to stop the virus from spreading has come at a cruel cost to the country’s poorer citizens.

This is especially evident in Francistown’s Block One location where desperate residents are growing hungrier by the day as The Voice’s CHRISTINAH MOTLHABANE discovered when she visited the area on Wednesday.

"Please give us food"
JOHNSON TEKO, 60


I do not have anything to eat.

You can get in the house and see for yourself (gesturing animatedly at the small mud hut behind him).

As you arrived I was bathing and getting ready to go out in the hope of finding something to eat.

Before the lockdown I used to do piece jobs and buy already cooked food to eat.

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I never cooked in the house, I survived on takeaways.

"Please give us food"
DILAPIDATED: Teko’s mud hut

Now I have nothing to cook.

The social workers have not arrived in our home, we are always they are on the other side of town.

Yesterday I had Mageu only so I can take my medication.

Sometimes I am forced to take it on an empty stomach.

Now I only eat when I check on my friends and thus have to violate the Covid-19 procedures of staying home; I have not other choice!

"Please give us food"
NALEDI MOMPOLOKI SENAI, 30


It is hard my sister, there is nothing to eat. We survive by hustling for food. The social workers are dragging their feet.

Last week my younger brother had a little money, which he used to buy some food but it is long finished.

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I am staying with my brothers, niece and nephew. We wish we could be assisted.

We have not had a single social worker visit our house since lockdown started!

"Please give us food"
KAGISO SETLHARE, 24


I have not been given the food hampers but the social worker is always passing here.

Before lockdown I was surviving by selling sweets and cooked meat but now the little that I have saved is finished.

We now survive by eating mapakiwa, since they are cheaper.

If I have 10 Pula, I make sure it sustains me for a week.

It is very hard. I just need to be assessed so I get food.

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Even getting a permit is difficult; when you need it you are told they only give 30 people and you’re too late.

"Please give us food"
OOKEDITSE MODISE, 55


I fear hunger will soon kill me.

I keep waiting and hoping for the social workers to turn up but even till today they have not come.

As you can see in my house, I survive with water and asking for papa from people.

My own papa got finished some weeks ago.

I have been surviving by Drought Relief Programme, now I am suffering.

We ask that the social workers help us. We are desperate!

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"Please give us food"
TAMELO MADONGO, 44


My eyes do not know the social workers.

I have not seen them and hunger is slowly killing me.

It is painful.

We eat papa without relish and that papa is now small.

When you cook you make sure you cook a little so tomorrow you have something.

I used to do piece jobs of building.

I really need food.

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"Please give us food"
OBEY JASA, 41


If people are suffering this kind of punishment because of Coronavirus they should at least be given food well in time.

If not we have no choice but to leave our houses so we hustle to have food.

We ask that we be given food so we stay in our houses.

There is nothing painful like hunger.

The social workers and the government must hear our plea.

We are asking for food.

We used to hustle for ourselves now it is hard.

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