A critical food crisis has hit the valley areas of Lumezi District in the Eastern Province.
Lumezi District Commissioner, Jimmy Phiri and Headman Chese of Kazembe chiefdom have both confirmed the hunger situation in separate interviews with the Zambia News and Information Service (ZANIS) in the area.
Headman Chese, Elijah Phiri, said over 200 villages in Chief Kazembe’s area have run out of staple food to feed their families.
The Headman identified some of the most hit villages as Chese, Mgwilapako, Kabindama, Zumale, Kauta, and Msekeni among others.
He said the only dried mango chips which the people depended on have now run out, leaving them with no food or wild fruits to feed on.
The village headman attributed the hunger situation in the valley to human-animal conflict as elephants are ravaging and destroying people’s crop fields, leaving them vulnerable.
He said if the current situation is not addressed, it might lead people to start dying of starvation in the valley area in Lumezi.
The traditional ruler has since appealed to the government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), under the office of the Vice President, to urgently send enough relief food to the area to avert people dying of hunger.
And Lumezi District Commissioner Jimmy Phiri said he was aware of the hunger situation in the valley areas.
However, the District Commissioner said the government through the Food Reserve Agency has opened community sales to the people at Lumezi FRA shed.
“People can walk to FRA shed and buy a bag. In the valley we don’t have any outlet there, we only have one outlet the whole district which is Lumezi,” he said.
Mr Phiri said arrangements have been made with Community Resource Board (CRB) to transport maize for community sales to Chitungulu where people from the valley could access it to reduce on distance coverage.
He further said relief food might in two weeks’ time come for distribution to the hunger affected household families in the valley areas of Chiefs Kazembe, Chitungulu and Mwanya including the plateau.
Meanwhile, the Village Headman Chese has also appealed to the government to construct a referral hospital to curb maternal deaths in the area.
“Since the country got its independence in 1964, we have had no referral hospital in the area,” he said.
The village head said Lumezi referral hospital is about 120 Kilometers away from Kataba, which has hindered expecting mothers to access maternal health service delivery.
“In our area, we have people who are educated, some got six points, but we don’t have a university, not even a college, so I beg the President to come to our aid,” the traditional ruler said.
And we have a useless so called president who is flying around using tax payers money to burn jet fuel. Meanwhile the people starve. Hh is an evil chicarla!
[email protected] Kaizar, are you telling me HH travelled last again? If so ninshi kutumpa fye uko nomba. I took some days off thinking country is under control, now you guys are telling me that some Zambians are going to bed on empty stomach?
Praying for full blown hunger. You will remember Edgar Chagwa Lungu. I don’t sympathise with people who voted for oval head. Mulenya mulelapila!!!
Thats why am saying we need more “Managers” in government than Politicians……HH is a Politician..Lungu is a Politician…Kambwili is a Politician..Mundubile is a Politician
Evil man and heartless busy making promises and people are suffering and now is asking for more years to ruin the lives of the Zambian people
Thats what happens when your MP is always politicking and arguing instead of working for the people
The population of elephants in this area has grown. It’s become dangerous to drive on that route. It’s even more dangerous for those that use motorcycles and soon Aliboo might abandon that route and that will worsen the situation for the people as they’ll have no one to buy their produce. I think the solution is to just control the population of elephants by cropping. Unfortunately we have a puppet government that can’t make that bold decision.
Most parts of Lumezi valley belongs to game reserves. Animals have been stressed by human beings encroaching it game reserves. In its current state Lumezi valley needs special design of development for few people found in that area. For instance, certain areas are impassable now as rivers and swamps have flooded. People who have settled in such areas needed settlement assessment before settling in such areas. Have travelled the entire Lumezi valley and development as urged by local people and government is not possible for above stated reasons. The area is game reserve for our wild animals and few people need to be settled in camps that can be managed and not as is with Lumezi in the platea.
Wait until the effects of a mismanaged FISP and the prescription from IMF sink in. The good thing about hunger praise singer or not the effects are the same. Every evil we used to tell people about heartless and tribal UPND are coming to pass. We warned Anthony Bwalya, we told you that all HH is good at is lying and selling. You did not listen.
Tough life……60 years after independence and we are still struggling with food…..shame on all Politicians
Zambians,please stop crying and pointing fingers or insulting instead of finding ways to solve the problem facing Lumezi.Why are there MPs?If they are not doing their job for which you gave them your votes don’t do it again.The Government should work hard to convince the International Community whose job is to protect animals like elephants to allow it to control their growth by giving many hunting licenses to people who own guns and have permits to hunt.
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