By NATION REPORTER
THE Zambia Association for Research and Development (ZARD) with support from the European Union (EU) has handed over a total of K45,000 cash to five ZARD women groups of Lukolongo area in Kafue district.
The funds are part of the EU’s supported project dubbed ‘Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights’ (POWER) jointly implemented with the Non-Governmental Organisation Coordination Council (NGOCC).
Speaking during the handing over ceremony in Kafue at the weekend, ZARD Acting Chairperson, Regis Mubiana said her organisation remains committed to increasing social economic empowerment for women and girls in rural communities.
Ms Mubiana has however urged the women of Lukolongo to strive to look for land where they could embark on productive activities such as farming, gardening, animal rearing among other economic ventures.
She stated that land acquisition by women for productive purpose will remain key in mitigating the impact of poverty levels as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘‘Self-sustainability of women through acquisition will no doubt lead to reduced cases of gender based violence, dependability on men, male dominance in economic activities and lead to poverty reduction,’’ she said.
Ms Mubiana further counselled and encouraged the women of Lukolongo area not to be undermined by men especially in engaging in income generating activities which can uplift their wellbeing.
And ZARD Programmes Officer, Phebby Maambo disclosed that more women groups in Lukolongo area are expected to benefit from the EU’s Power Project which will run for a period of two years.
Ms Maambo however urged the ZARD women groups in Lukolongo to strive to remain accountable as they engage in various economic activities that will sustain their living.
Meanwhile, Headwoman Keembe praised the EU, NGOCC through ZARD for empowerment funds saying the development will go a long way in uplifting the living standards of the women in Lukolongo and the surrounding areas.
The traditional leader noted that ZARD’s gesture and commitment to equal distribution of income and productive resources will help alleviate poverty levels especially among women and girls in the area.
Headwoman Keembe further praised ZARD for its continued efforts of raising awareness among women particularly in Lukolongo area on the importance of acquiring not only land but solar products to boost their income generating activities.
‘‘The various empowerment programmes ZARD has conducted in the area for the past years such as land ownership and life skills has helped in reducing cases of gender based violence and early marriages for young girls,’’ she noted.
The European Union (EU) funded ‘‘Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights’’ (POWER) Project ZARD Women groups of Lukolongo area in Kafue district was launched in September this year and will run for a period of two years.
The programme will see many women being empowered not only with funds but with solar products to boost their business and farming activity in the area.