Central Province Permanent Secretary Milner Mwanakampwe has directed law enforcement officers in Mkushi to ensure that all trucks purported to be carrying farm produce to be thoroughly searched to curb smuggling of maize.
Mr Mwanakampwe observed that smuggling of maize has continued stating that there is need to enhance policing to ensure food security in the province.
He said that the people behind illegal export of maize are hiding the grain in bags where they load other farm produce.
And Mkushi District Commissioner Jonathan Kapungwe complained that the price of mealie meal in the district has continued to be high, at K230.
Mr Kapungwe said this is despite farmers harvesting this maize marketing season.
The District Commissioner noted that some maize smugglers have been loading maize in bags carrying soya beans.
He explained that most farmers have found an attractive market for soya beans across borders.
Mr Kapungwe stated that the smugglers have taken advantage of the situation and are hiding maize in the soya bean bags.
The District Commissioner also bemoaned a critical water shortage which has affected the district for more than five years.
He observed that most residential areas and the district administration do not have running water.
Mr Kapungwe however noted that with help from an investor, the district administration has managed to drill a borehole, procure a water tank and a tank stand.
In response, the Provincial Permanent Secretary said the USD 72,000 that the government has secured to enhance the operations of Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company will improve water reticulation in Central Province.
Mr Mwanakampwe said the water supply is a result of old pipes some of which have clogged due to cracks.
He assured that the water situation will improve as Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company will replace the old pipes with new plastic pipes.