Friday, February 08, 2008
By Maluba Jere
Friday February 08, 2008 [03:00]
Defence minister George Mpombo yesterday said that the defence forces have been put on full alert to promptly respond to all flood situations countrywide. Speaking when he toured Kanyama Clinic which has been flooded, Mpombo also said the government’s visit to flooded areas and distribution of aid to affected people should not be seen as campaign strategy. He said the government had a moral obligation to offer humanitarian services to the people.
“We are here to see the situation obtaining on the ground and this has nothing to do with elections,” he said. “We want to assure you that the government is committed to improving your lives and also show you that we’ve not abandoned you.
It is difficult to determine the weather and so the assistance we are offering is just humanitarian.”
Mpombo who was accompanied by Lusaka Province minister Lameck Mangani and officers from his ministry assured the residents that the government was consolidating efforts to find a long-term solution to the problem.
“I want to assure you that ZAF, Zambia Army and ZNS are ready to assist in any way,” Mpombo said.
“We have been doing a lot of aerial view to determine how much damage has been caused by the floods and the air force is ready to ferry food to wherever it may be required,” he said.
And sister-in-charge at Kanyama Clinic, Bertha Kaluba, appealed for mosquito nets for distribution to pregnant women and under-five children as there was a lot of stagnant water which lead to mosquitoes breeding more.
Mpombo also toured New Kanyama Basic School before proceeding to Misisi Compound where drainages were being unblocked.
Head teacher at Kanyama Basic School Billy Subakanya said the school might reopen to examination classes only by next week.
Subakanya said the school could not open to all the classes as it was still flooded and teachers were still occupying the classrooms.