GOVERNMENT has released 100 metric tonnes of maize and assorted of foodstuffs to over 38,000 people in Lunga district whose houses and crop fields were submerged following a continuous heavy downpour.
The floods that have hit Lunga district are said to be the worst in the last 20 years, the previous being of 1998 which caused havoc on people’s houses, rice and cassava fields.
Minister in the Office of the Vice President Sylvia Chalikosa said the Government had a duty to attend to the needs of the people across the country.
Speaking yesterday when she flagged off the distribution of the relief food at Mpanta community harbour on the shores of Lake Bangweulu, Ms Chalikosa said no person should be allowed to die of hunger.
Apart from the 100 metric tonnes of maize, the Government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) also released 500 by 25kgs of mealie meal, 100 by 50kgs of beans and 125 by 20kgs all valued at K241, 600.
“Going forward, the Government will engage the community of Lunga district and the Luapula Provincial leadership to find the lasting solution to this problem,” she said.
Luapula Province Minister, Nickson Chilangwa urged Lunga district leadership to distribute the relief food to the very vulnerable people.
“Do not look at people’s faces. Distribute to the vulnerable,” he said while appealing to Ms Chalikosa through her office to send seed for the people to start winter cropping once the water levels subdue.
Luapula constituency Member of Parliament Emerine Kabanshi, under whose area Lunga district falls, thanked the government for the quick response.
Some government officials who were part of the entourage included the DMMU National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe, Housing and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary Charles Mushota, Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary Bornface Chimbwali, Bangweulu MP Anthony Kasandwe and Chifunabuli MP Ponde Mecha.
The worst hit area in Lunga district is Bwalyamponda Island, which is surrounded by Bangweulu swamps where rice and cassava fields have been swept away and houses destroyed by the heavy rains of March 14-16, 2019.