HUNGER LOOMS IN GWEMBE VALLEY
BY OLIVER SAMBOKO
CHIEF Sinazongwe of Southern Province has called on government to start preparing for a looming hunger situation in the Gwembe valley following flood rains that have affected some parts of the region.
The traditional leader said most parts of the valley, especially in Sinazeze and Sinazongwe have experienced heavy rains which has resulted into maize fields being submerged.
He said the heavy rains being experienced in the region would negatively affect harvest leading to a hunger crisis.
“Government should act now to avert a critical hunger situation in the valley due to floods being experienced in the region, said chief Sinazongwe.
The traditional leader said most of his subjects had already run out food from last harvest season and that with an eminent bad harvest this season, the situation was likely to worsen.
He said his chiefdom would soon be carrying out study aimed at knowing the extent of the food crisis which will be presented to government.
Chief Sinazongwe also called on Zambians to take keen interest in issues of climate change which he said had negatively affected the agriculture sector not only in Zambia but across the Southern region and beyond.
He said cutting of trees for charcoal production had had negative impact on climate change in Southern province and urged his subjects to stop the practice in order to protect climate.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) has called for the immediately stop to the export of maize and mealie meal to halt the escalation of price for the staple food.
ZACA executive secretary Juba Sakala said in an interview that the current escalation of Mealie meal price is as a direct result of government allowing export of the commodity to other countries.
“This increase in price of Mealie meal is a warning to Government that cost of production has gone up and maize stocks are running low. So it’s important that Government stops the export immediately and secures the stocks to stabilize the price,” Mr Sakala said.