By OLIVER SAMBOKO
RESCUE operation systems in the country should be harmonised to enhance response to disasters and other emergencies, a fire and rescue expert has said.
Mr Mweene Kayoba said in an interview that there is also need for regular holding of joint mock emergencies across the country to check and test the preparedness for emergency and rescue operations.
He said in as much as the country has a disaster policy, the police, the fire brigade and other stakeholders have been working in isolation, a development which results in slow response to emergencies.
Mr Kayoba said there is urgent need to enact legislation to coordinate disaster response to allow for timely response to emergencies and other distress calls.
He said the country should ensure that rescue operations are well coordinated to minimize loss of life and also to ensure the country is well prepared in case of a disaster.
Mr Kayoba observed that Zambia has continued losing lives during accidents and other disasters because the country has no well-coordinated response system in place which results in delayed response to emergencies.
He said disasters can disrupt lives as it has lasting negative effects on both people and property, and therefore need for the country to be ready all the time.
Free education possible with more teachers – Matambo
THE free education policy can only become meaningful if schools have adequate numbers of trained teachers, hence the resolve to employ 30 000 teachers this year, Copperbelt Minister Elisha Matambo has said.
Stating that the country currently has about 60 000 unemployed trained teachers despite the shortage in some schools, Mr Matambo said that government would endeavour to recruit all the trained teachers in the next three years to fully actualize the free education policy.
The free education policy encompasses the abolishment of school fees, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) fees and examination fees.
He said the circular by government to re-unite couples that had been separated through transfers will be considered when posting the soon to be recruited teachers to ensure they are not separated from their spouses.
He urged the clergy to work in collaboration with civic leaders and other community members in the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) committees to identify vulnerable children to be offered bursaries at tertiary level of education
Mr Matambo said the decentralization of offering bursaries from the central government to the local communities is meant to ensure that the right and vulnerable people with good results benefit unlike the past situation where children of influential people benefitted.
]He implored the clergy and their church members to position themselves by forming cooperatives to benefit from the increased CDF in constituencies from K1.6 million to K25.7 million by embarking on projects that will uplift their livelihood. The Minister further called on the church to support government’s fight against corruption as the Republican President Hakainde Hichilema embarks on strengthening institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC).
And in a statement from the Chililabombwe District Clergy read by Bishop Chilala Choogwa from the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), the clergy acknowledged the ‘New Dawn’ government’s works during the few months of being in power.
Among the achievements acknowledged is the implementation of the free education policy, the increase in CDF allocations and the re-uniting of couples separated by transfers, which allegedly contribute to Gender Based Violence (GBV) and HIV cases. – ZANIS