Editorial

Never lose focus

ZAMBIANS must not get too overwhelmed with the ravaging coronavirus (Covid-19), but appropriate some focus and concentration to other equally pressing matters such as the devastating floods that have bombarded about 1.5 million citizens.
Obviously, Covid-19 is the greatest challenge at the moment, spanning beyond Zambia’s frontiers and overwhelming the west, United Kingdom and the world’s most powerful country, the United States of America.
But Government and its citizens here must not lose focus of other woes and pressing matters, lest even small problems blossom to insurmountable levels.
The stark reality is that thousands of houses in Muchinga, Northern, Luapula, Eastern and North-Western provinces are drenched in water while others have collapsed, leaving grieving citizens homeless.
Most of Chilubi Island has been flooded with water reaching window-level so is part of Samfya district after Lake Bangweulu spread out with high water levels.
Lunga, which consists of Islands, is equally inundated.
Chambeshi River between Northern and Muchinga provinces has caused havoc after its overflowing water drowned the villages and maize fields.
Crops have been washed away while people have been left homeless; their houses have been destroyed.
Some parts of Kitwe which are on the peripheral of Kafue River are in ruins after the water body burst its banks.
Residents in the affected areas have had to be evacuated from their flood-ravaged dwellings to Buchi Hotel, whose status has now been reduced to squalor due to overcrowding and poor sanitation.
More frightening is the fact that the projected maize bumper harvest may not be realised after all.
In the midst of the fight against Covid-19, citizens must not lose sight of the fact that harvest period is setting in and Government should be preparing to announce the maize floor price.
It is hoped that the Food Reserve Agency, the Grain Traders Association and the Zambia National Farmers Union have prepared for the marketing season to ensure food security during and in the post-Covid-10 period.
The Covid-19 has stolen all the attention to the extent that the hitherto topical issues such maize and mealie meal smuggling into the Democratic Republic Congo is no longer under discussion.
In many cases, citizens are buying overpriced mealie meal in bitter silence.
Zambia has drifted away!
While Covid-19fight requires much more effort, it is equally important to continue with efforts to bring down the high rate of malaria – also a fast killer disease.
It is also important to maintain the momentum on strides to reduce the HIV/AIDS infection rate, or the impressive gains registered thus far will be blown away.
Yes, there is certainly swayed attention, but the sooner this negative factor is identified and redressed the better. This sounds crude, but it is real.
Thus even in the face of Covid-19, citizens and the Government must remain resolute without losing sight of other national pressing and critical issues.
However, this does not mean that paying less attention to the fight against Covid-19, but spreading focus across critical issues that demand immediate redress.
Therefore, it is time to make a rational decision to give attention to critical national matters that may have suffered in the course of resolving issues surrounding Covid-19 author, Tony Robbins, once said, ‘“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”
It’s time to make a difficult, but rational decision!

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