Covid-19: Over 140 Djs, ‘bouncers’ get food relief

Workers package foodstuff for distribution to citizens during the lockdown. The City of Kigali has supplied food relief to over 140 DJs and ‘bouncers’ due to effects of Covid-19. / Photo: File.

A total of 147 members of the entertainment fraternity who include 85 venue security personnel commonly known as ‘bouncers’ and 62 DJs have so far benefitted from City of Kigali (CoK)’s food relief supply after they were affected by measures to fight Covid-19.

The entertainment industry is one of the sectors that were adversely affected by the anti-Covid-19 measures, with bars, night clubs, and musical and entertainment concerts all on hold for nearly five months now.

 

Following the confirmation of the first Covid-19 case in the country, the government declared a countrywide lockdown on March 21 allowing only essential services to remain in operation.

 

Eventually majority of other sectors were allowed to open but entertainment remains suspended.

 

DJs and bouncers are some of the people whose places of work were suspended and have since not been given a green light to operate.

On March 28, government inaugurated a support initiative for vulnerable families who have been affected by the measures to fight the virus.

Speaking to The New Times, this week, City of Kigali Spokesperson Bruno Rangira said that the DJs and bouncers have been supplied with food and other sanitary essentials as part of the government’s efforts to support those whose jobs had been halted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Currently, the City of Kigali is still supporting people who are in need of food during this time as long there are some activities that have not been given the green light to open. Those that have been supported from specific groups include DJs and Bouncers,” he said.

Relief aid continues

While the numbers of those the City authorities have been feeding has significantly reduced with the lifting of the lockdown, Rangira said that the City of Kigali (CoK) is currently still feeding over 3,500 families that are or have been under lockdown.

In a telephone interview with this publication, Rangira said that besides these families, local authorities are also on location to support citizens who have other needs like health services and other household requirements.

“We continue to provide support. Those who fall under the category of vulnerable groups are already in the social protection schemes under Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA). They are receiving direct support as per the social protect programmes,” he said.

He explained that exceptions are being made in different sectors within the city districts where support is being provided for those that express the need even if they may not fall under the above category.

“That is on demand basis not the whole group where you may find not needing the support. There are free hotlines that people can call if they need help Nyarugenge District it is 4025, Gasabo District it is 1520 and Kicukiro District one can call 4575,” he said.

Pius Rukabuza popularly known as DJ Pius told The New Times in a telephone interview that he was aware of the distribution.

“Yes. I know that a list was drawn up and food was distributed. Not every DJ was able to benefit but it was good to see the CoK come through to help those who were most vulnerable at their time of need,” he said.

In April, the Mayor of the City of Kigali; Pudence Rubingisa told The New Times in an interview that the beneficiaries of the relief initiative receive maize flour, rice and beans and the food is delivered to the beneficiaries’ homes in order to respect social distancing requirements.

The food government is distributing is coming from the National Strategic Grains Reserve in the Ministry of Agriculture.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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