The Zimbabwe National Youth and Paralympic Games (NYPG) set to commence this Sunday in Gweru hangs in the balance owing to serious food and fuel shortages with the organizing committees still making efforts to mobilise resources to avert the dire situation.
The state of preparedness for the games is currently at less than 50 percent with key logistical areas still to be finalized just two days before teams from the country’s 10 provinces gather in the Midlands capital, 263Chat has learnt.
In an exclusive interview with 263Chat, NYPG Chief Executive Officer Dr James Muvirimi Chivivi said despite all administrative issues having been put in place, resource constraints remains a major challenge.
“On paper we are 100 percent but on the ground we are still around 45 percent prepared mainly because we are looking at issues like feeding, our levels are still very low and yet we are quite aware that this time is what we call re-branded games which must have a departure from the past focus on quantity but quality instead.
“In terms of beef we have four or five beasts yet we are expecting about 20 beasts for both block and that’s why I am saying on the ground we are at 45 percent, but we are still getting resources and we appreciate all the people who donated these beasts and will go a long way so that the first one to three days we are covered.
“We have all systems in place now to kick start the games, the accreditation teams are there, all officials are there and almost every system has been activated. So we just don’t want to starve our athletes who need to be fed well, who need to be accommodated well,” he said.
Chivivi said they had not received any fuel from the 25 000 litres they requested for transport logistics.
“In terms of fuel we are still very low, we were expecting 10 000 litres of petrol and 15 000 litres of diesel but up to now we have received almost nothing because the person who pledged it last year has not yet come back to us.
“Follow ups are still being made even at head office level in terms of SRC, so food and transportation is my major worry for now,” Chivivi said.
Travelling teams on the 27th of July have been advised to arrive before 5 pm to avoid inconveniences as late hours may see them stranded as they will be no one to receive them.
The main venue for track events at Chaplin High School will be complete by Friday, as Chivivi said, after receiving the last material which was needed for completion.
The First Block of the games which consists of the newly introduced virtual provinces made up of the under 23 age groups and Paralympic games will run from the 28th of July to the 3rd of August and the Second Block made of the under 18 category are set for the 4th of August through to the 10th.