Zambians should brace themselves for tougher times ahead, says the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) board chairman John Lijimu.
Mr Lijimu said government did seem to prioritize efforts to fight the growing hunger situation in the country.
“Tougher times are coming and the Zambian people must brace themselves for real hunger in their homes because government seems not to give the required attention to the growing problem,” Mr. Lijimu said.
He explained that government should realize that its role and responsibility was to provide food, good health and education services to the people of Zambia which should be top priorities.
Mr. Ljimu said there was urgent need for government to address the hunger situation in the country by actualizing their statements on providing food aid to the worst affected areas.
“Government should expedite the process of delivering food aid to seriously affected areas where people have been feeding on wild plants, they need to actualize their plans to deliver the aid to the people who have no food at all,” he said.
He has called on the PF government to stop politicizing the hunger situation and redirect efforts to improving the well being of the people as per its campaign promises.
“This government should stop politicking and its target of attaining numbers in Parliament, but should concentrate on how to improve the living standards of the people.
“They should not forget that they campaigned and got into government on the promises of ending poverty and improving the people’s wellbeing, and proving food aid should be on top of their priority list,” Mr. Lijimu said.
And Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President Harry Kalaba has disclosed that government has begun the prepositioning maize stocks in 18 of the 44 districts identified as hunger stricken areas.
Mr. Kalaba said delivery of maize meant for relief aid had started in some selected districts including Sinazongwe and Pemba.
“According to the Vulnerability Assessment Report issued by his office, only 18 out of the 44 districts have been identified as requiring food aid and government has started prepositions maize stocks fro the programme,” he said.
He explained that not all households in the named districts needed relief aid, but that his team was working out logistics to identify particular households to benefit from the aid.
“Maize deliveries has been done in some districts based on the recommendations from the assessment report team and further assessments were being carried out to ascertain the exact needs of households that require food aid, its not all the households in the said districts, and in some cases, the need is not immediate,” he explained.
Some of the districts that have been earmarked to receive food aid include Sinazeze, Mongu, Lukulu and Shang’ombo in Southern and Western provinces.