ELDERLY people should not be abandoned because they are an important part of Zambia’s heritage, Chiefs and traditional affairs Minister Nkandu Luo has said.
Professor Luo said Zambians and Africans in general should not abandon old people but they should give elderly people comfort in their homes.
The Minister noted that it was unAfrican and unZambian for any person to abandon elderly parents.
Prof Luo was speaking in Livingstone yesterday when she handed over donated a 5, 000 litres water tank to Maramba Old People’s Village.
Besides donating a water tank valued at K3 million, Professor Luo also handed various food items to elderly people at Maramba Old People’s Village as New Year gifts valued at the cost of K2.5 million.
The handover ceremony was part of the commemoration of the 100 years of heritage law and 40 years of World Heritage Commission.
“As Zambians and Africans, we should not be abandoning old people but give them comfort in our homes.
The onus is on us as children and great grand children to look after our elderly people in society. Today we are what we are because of our parents and if we abandon elderly people, we won’t get blessings from God,” she said.
Professor Luo said she was happy to be part of the 100 years of heritage law and 40 years of World Heritage Commission.
“We have thought of coming to Maramba Old People’s Home especially to donate a water tank because they need it more than anybody else.
Water is life and if you look around this Village, old people need water and they also need food hence it was also thoughtful to donate food here,” Prof Luo said.
She said he would engage the Minister of Community Development, Maternal and Child Health Joseph Katema to see else could be done jointly to improve the Village.
“For instance, we can plant flowers here because plants are part of therapy. Planting flowers doesn’t cost much.
Old people’s homes in Europe and America, one of the things which give you conform and attraction is their surroundings,” she said.
Prof Luo also said Zambia needed to put a lot of its heritage sites at the centre state to promote tourism.
“Recently during heritage celebrations in South Africa, we visited heritage site and it is a world of its own inside.
For 2013, I challenge the director of heritage that we need to sit down and see how we can enhance some of our sites and make them attractive to tourists,” she said.
She said if the heritage sites were improved and presented to the World Heritage Commission, they would boost the tourism sector in the country.
“Even this Old People’s Home we can make it a tourist attraction for Livingstone. We can make it attractive and sell-able because they are people who would just like to visit and see elderly people
Even in terms of donations, we will have a lot of people coming from the international world to donate and even adopt the place,” she said.
Prof Luo urged the business sector in Zambia to consider coming on board to help upgrade Maramba Cultural Village especially as Livingstone prepares to co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly this year.
Business sector, remember the Village and contribute. Look at the Home in a more positive way so that we facelift the centre for our old people
National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) executive director Collins Chipote said his Commission decided to celebrate the 100 years of heritage law and 40 years of world heritage convention by providing a water tank and foodstuffs to elderly people at Maramba Old People’s Home.