Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Govt sends relief maize to Southern Province
By Lemmy Likando in Mazabuka and Chimwemwe Kasanje in Siavonga
Sat 17 Aug. 2013, 14:00 CAT

THE government has released 875 metric tonnes of white maize for distribution to vulnerable communities in seven districts of Southern Province.

And chief Sinadambwe of the Tonga people of Siavonga says the government should reconsider its decision not to release relief food to hunger-stricken areas this year.

The seven districts that are earmarked to receive the maize are Pemba, Kalomo, Mazabuka, Chikankata, Monze, Namwala and Siavonga districts.
This is according to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, which through its Zambia Vulnerability Committee (ZVAC), carried out an in-depth assessment on the effects of floods and dry spells on the agriculture sector in selected districts of the country in the year 2013.

Mazabuka district commissioner Eugene Munyama said the assessment established that seven districts in Southern Province would require relief maize interventions beginning August 2013 to March 2014.
Munyama disclosed that according to DMMU, Pemba was expected to receive a total of 102 metric tonnes; Kalomo 143 metric tonnes, Mazabuka 145 tonnes, and Chikankata would receive 99 metric tonnes.

He further said that Monze would receive 147 metric tonnes, Namwala 150 metric tonnes, while Siavonga was expected to receive 86 metric tonnes.
Munyama said that the distribution, by the District Disaster Management Committee, of the 145 metric tonnes to Mazabuka would commence next week, adding that the food would be given to vulnerable groups, among them the aged, disabled and critically ill patients throughout the district.

Munyama, however, said that according to guidelines, 80 per cent of the food would be given to Disaster Risk Reduction Food for Work while the 20 per cent was for free to debilitated persons.

And chief Sinadambwe said it would be irresponsible for the government to starve his people in a year that relief food was desperately needed since their food stocks ran out last month.

"It is a mistake for government to say there will be no relief food for starving people this year. Government should reconsider its stance on this; otherwise, people will die and if we die, who will be in Zambia?" chief Sinadambwe wondered.

Recently, agriculture minister Robert Sichinga announced that the government would not distribute relief food to areas affected by hunger because of the reduced 2013 maize crop yield.

And chief Sinadambwe said the raging boundary wrangle between his chiefdom and that of chief Simamba needed urgent attention.
He contended that chief Simamba and his people drifted into his area during and after construction of the Kariba Dam that was funded by the World Bank in the 1950s.

Chief Sinadambwe said chief Simamba, although equally recognised by the government, should become his subject together with his people, claiming that they came from an area now covered by the waters of Lake Kariba.

But chief Simamba argued that it was chief Sinadambwe who had refused to recognise the 1958 boundaries.

Seven traditional rulers in Siavonga district, including chiefs Mweemba, Sinazongwe, Munyumbwe, Chipepo and Sikongo, who is not gazetted by the government, have been embroiled in differences over land.

Chiefs Sinadambwe and Simamba are at the centre of the land dispute.
And chiefs and traditional affairs minister Professor Nkandu Luo and foreign affairs minister Wilbur Simuusa, who were in the area for an indaba, pledged the government's commitment in resolving differences over land among traditional rulers.

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