Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Drought Crisis: President Hichilema Unveils Comprehensive Cost-Cutting Measures

Share

President Hichilema announces cost cutting measures to mitigate impact of the drought
President Hichilema

Amid the prevailing drought crisis, President Hakainde Hichilema has announced a series of comprehensive cost-cutting measures in response to the pressing challenges. These initiatives are aimed at addressing immediate needs and ensuring sustainable resource allocation across various sectors of the government. They form part of the administration’s concerted efforts to realign the 2024 National Budget, effectively channeling resources towards mitigating the adverse impact of the drought and safeguarding food security for the public.

President Hichilema’s announcement marks a proactive approach to fiscal management and crisis response, emphasizing the prudent utilization of financial resources to address urgent priorities while maintaining a focus on long-term sustainability and equitable distribution.

During his address at State House, President Hichilema reiterated the imperative of saving financial resources by reducing unnecessary expenditures on government travel and workshops. He emphasized the need for strict budgetary discipline across all branches of the public service, including Parliament, the judiciary, and quasi-governmental institutions. By curbing non-essential trips and workshops, the government aims to generate substantial savings that can be redirected towards critical initiatives aimed at addressing food scarcity and supporting vulnerable communities affected by the drought.

Furthermore, President Hichilema announced plans to introduce constitutional amendments to enhance representation and inclusivity in governance structures. These proposed changes include features such as proportional representation, with the goal of bolstering the participation of women and people living with disabilities in Parliament and Local Councils. By fostering greater diversity in decision-making bodies, the government seeks to ensure that all segments of society are adequately represented and their voices heard in the policymaking process.

The president’s commitment to promoting gender equality and empowering women in leadership roles was underscored during the ceremony at State House, where he conferred the prestigious status of State Counsel upon Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti and four other distinguished lawyers. Recognizing the invaluable contributions of women to the nation’s progress, President Hichilema reiterated his administration’s dedication to creating an enabling environment for women to thrive and excel in various spheres of public service.

In addition to these structural reforms, President Hichilema issued directives to law enforcement agencies, emphasizing the importance of upholding the rule of law while ensuring fairness and transparency in legal proceedings. He urged police and investigative bodies to conduct thorough and impartial investigations before effecting arrests, reaffirming the government’s commitment to safeguarding the rights and liberties of all citizens.

As Zambia navigates through the challenges posed by the drought crisis, President Hichilema’s proactive measures reflect a holistic approach to crisis management, encompassing fiscal responsibility, governance reform, and social inclusivity. By prioritizing the efficient allocation of resources and fostering a culture of accountability and transparency, the government aims to mitigate the impact of the drought and build resilience against future crises, ensuring the well-being and prosperity of all citizens for generations to come.

Earlier this month President Hakainde Hichilema declared the prolonged dry spells in the country as a National Disaster and Emergency .Speaking when he addressed the Nation on the impact of El Nino weather phenomenon President Hichilema said the declaration was in accordance with the disaster management act number 13 of 2010, supported by other relevant legislations.

The President noted that the drought has devastating consequences on many critical sectors such as agriculture, water availability and energy supply, risking national food security and livelihoods of millions of Zambians.
“At national level the estimated planted area for maize is 2.2 million hectares and of this, approximately 1 million hectares has been destroyed.

The Head of State stated that the drought was anticipated to adversely affect the energy sector that is expected to have a deficit of around 430 megawatts of electricity, potentially reaching more than 520 megawatts by December 2024.

President Hichilema announced that in view of the declaration of the drought as a national disaster and emergency, the government will undertake both short term and long term measures to stabilise the expected food insecurity.

Among the short term and long term measures announced by the President included channelling more resources towards humanitarian relief purposes to importing in order to ensure that affected citizens do not go hungry, importing additional electricity and rationing energy use as well as promoting alternative energy sources.

Others were mobilisation of farmers across the country to embark on planting early and winter maize through various forms of irrigation.

The President also announced that as a long term measure, the government would focus on enhancing water harvesting mechanisms to enable precision and other irrigation development so as to stimulate agricultural production.

President Hichilema indicated that the government will realign the 2024 national budget to achieve the targeted measures.

President also directed Zambia’s defence forces to expand irrigation schemes as a way to increase food production.

“We will work with all farmers, farming input suppliers, grain traders, millers, academics, professionals, regulators, church, civil society, unions, traditional leaders, political parties and others,” President Hichilema said.
The destruction caused by the prolonged dry spell has severely affected 84 districts in Lusaka, Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, North-Western, Western and Southern Provinces.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Cost cutting measures…yes deal with theft and corruption…then reduce the Presidential motorcade and no unnecessary international MOUs trips…..no unnecessary hefty allowances for Ministers and stop wasting money on Political persecution

  2. I do sympathize with the President….being a leader is not a joke am sure now he’s realized that…..We need to build a better Zambia for ALL ZAMBIANS…..lets all face up to the challenges and help develop Zambia as ONE COUNTRY….ONE TRIBE…there’s no place like HOME and our beautiful HOME is ZAMBIA

  3. Unnecessary costs include HH’s daily movements from community house to state house. They include his weekly global trotting. Now that he has admitted that these are unnecessary, he should not just subject these measure to his subordinates but even to himself. Apart from begging, what other solutions does he have to the impending hunger and power situation.

  4. …….

    Wanton destruction of trees for malasha should be declared an emergency……..

    For those who dont know……

    Where trees have been cut, streams dry out and the water table recides ……..

    When trees and other shrubs are reintroduced, streams flow again with a raised water table……

    Trees are essential to the lands hydrology

    • Very true but this is vicious circle. With load shedding for 8 hours, just in march people will resort to using malasha for cooking. The demand for malasha has already gone up meaning more trees to be cut. We anticipate by October there will 12 to 18hrs of load shedding. The supreme leader told the people of Zambia that he (alone) has ended load shedding one year in Office. We have these headless leaders who only know how to talk without any action.

  5. What cost cutting measures when you are busy creating more and more positions at State house just to employ cadres. As if the dozen PS were not enough now you have appointed a presidential special envoy whose job most of the time will just be to run errands for the president while getting a hefty pay package.

  6. Nothing to do with drought in a country full of water, this is IMF telling him what to do and the spin doctors are using drought as an excuse.

    3
    2
  7. Mr President,
    If you need a technocrat to enhance your team during this time of crisis, my knowledge and experience are at your disposal

    2
    1
  8. “President Hichilema’s announcement marks a proactive approach to fiscal management and crisis response, emphasizing the prudent utilization of financial resources to address urgent priorities while maintaining a focus on long-term sustainability and equitable distribution.”

    Does anyone know what was meant with all of that?

Comments are closed.

Read more

Local News

Discover more from Lusaka Times-Zambia's Leading Online News Site - LusakaTimes.com

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading