Zambia will not declare hunger situation a disaster 

By Staff Reporter

Vice-President Inonge Wina says government will not declare the hunger situation a national crisis.

Wina said in parliament yesterday that Zambia had enough food stocks from the previous years with the new harvest expected to be enough to feed the entire nation.

Responding to a question from UPND Monze Central Member of Parliament Jack Mwiimbu during the Vice-President’s question time who wanted to know whether government was considering declaring the hunger situation in the country a disaster, Wina said that government would not do so.

“In-depth assessment of the hunger situation has been concluded and the report is being compiled to understand which districts are the most affected,” she said.

Wina added that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit was currently distributing food to the hunger stricken districts across the country.

She said members of parliament accusing government of having failed to deliver relief food were just making noise to attract votes.

On Tuesday this week, Caritas Zambia urged Government to consider declaring the hunger situation in some parts of the country a disaster.

Addressing a media briefing, Bishop Director for Caritas Zambia Evans Chinyemba said  that places visited by the Catholic Church agents had revealed that 79% of the crops were affected by drought, 13% by floods while 4% were affected by both drought and floods.

Bishop Chinyemba named Southern, Western, Lusaka, Eastern, Central and Luapula as some of provinces that were affected in the previous farming season.

He said apart from crop failure, the prolonged dry spell during the last farming season has created water shortages for both animals and people with many households currently with nothing to eat and were surviving on wild fruits.

Bishop Chinyemba said the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops through Caritas Zambia and other stakeholders was therefore targeting to spend not less than US$9.4 million in helping 42,000 households who have been affected by the unfavorable weather conditions.