Simuchoba upbeat with PPCR progress
By Staff Reporter
WESTERN Province Permanent Secretary Sibanze Simuchoba is pleased with the implementation of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) and Cashew Infrastructure Development Project (CIDP) in Kalabo.
Simuchoba said the two-year PPCR programme was proof that interventions aimed at increasing the resilience capacities of communities affected by climate change were bearing fruit.
Simuchoba, who toured PPCR and CIDP project sites in Kalabo town yesterday, urged civil servants in the area to be goodwill ambassadors and sensitize locals about the socio-economic benefits of the two programmes.
“This is because the programmes are meant to address developmental inequalities among citizens by enhancing household food security while generating income for economic diversification,” he said.
Government and its cooperating partners have jointly injected US$14.6 million additional financing for PPCR value chain production across the Barotse-Sub basin.
The funding is meant to stimulate a private sector and business minded approach amongst primary producers by moving them from subsistence to market-oriented production.
In addition, government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has also approved projects, which would be funded under Adaptation Contingency Funds within the PPCR programme.
The projects involve the rehabilitation of public infrastructure damaged by adverse climatic conditions.
And Simuchoba said that the Cashew project being implemented in Kalabo and nine other districts of Western Province was a key driver capable of revamping the socio-economic fortunes of the region.
He said the US$55.4 million project will enhance household income through improved Cashew production, processing and marketing.
Meanwhile, Kalabo District Commissioner Fridah Luhila said that the area had received a fair share of PPCR and CIDP funds, which government made available.
Luhila said implementation of the two programmes was progressing well despite adverse climatic conditions experienced of late.
“The PPCR interventions have strengthened climate resilience and improved the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities living within the Barotse sub-basin,” she said.
She added that locals have embraced the Cashew project in order to reap from the economic benefits accrued through value chain products and services.
And over 700 farmers planted Cashew seedlings while 1,500 farmers planted high quality seeds during the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 farming seasons, respectively.
Acting District Agricultural Coordinator John Kapela who confirmed the development said the CIDP had refurbished the Farmer Training Centre in Kalabo district, at a cost of K6.9 million, where Cashew farmers would be imparted with project management and techniques.
He said the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has floated a US$2 million Cashew Matching Grant Fund Facility in order to boost enterprises of cashew value chain products under the CIDP.
And Kalabo District Planner Tozya Jengajenga said PPCR had devised agricultural-based soft adaptation projects and construction-based hard adaptation projects.
Jengajenga disclosed that 113 Community Soft Adaptation Projects, 33 Community Hard Adaptation Projects, 16 Ward Projects, four District Projects and 13 Champions have so far been identified in Kalabo.