Over 100,000 people will starve if the Government does not send relief food to the Sinazongwe Dengeza in Senior Chief Mweemba’s area. The people have now resorted to eating the common grass called Mpunga and wild fruits.
This came to light when the deputy minister in the office of the Vice President Harry Kalaba toured Sinazongwe on Monday on a fact-finding mission.
The minister, who was accompanied by the area Member of Parliament Richwell Siamunene, Sinazongwe District Commissioner and senior officials from the disaster management unit, said it was unacceptable that people could be eating wild grass.
Speaking to journalists in Sinazongwe, Mr Kalaba said it was sad that people could be feeding on wild fruits and that the Government would not allow people to die of starvation.
“The people in the valley should not die of starvation, and that no one should be allowed to play politics at the expense of the lives of the people. As Government, we will move in quickly,” he said.
Mr Siamunene said the Government would deliver food to the area.
“The UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema should pick a leaf from this that there is time for everything and not always politicking,” he said.
The law maker said the situation was critical that he felt the need to engage the people in Government so that he would not be guilty for not attending to people’s plight.
“Over 100,000 households have resorted to eating grass known as Mpunga and wild fruits,” Mr Siamunene said.
He said the price of mealie meal had sky rocketted to KR70 or K70, 000 in the district.
He said the valley area was prone to drought resulting in people always in need of relief food.
“We need a comprehensive approach to the challenge that the people are facing. Irrigation systems should be put in place as Lake Kariba is just a stone’s throw away,” he said.
And Sinazongwe district commissioner Dodo Sindaza said his office had written to the food reserve agency (FRA) for supply of maize to the area as mealie meal was in short supply.