DECLARE HUNGER SITUATION A NATIONAL DISASTER
…..so that the donor community can come to the aid and save people’s lives, says Miyanda
Lusaka…Saturday February 10, 2024 (SMART EAGLES)
Governance Expert & Human Rights Advocate Wesley Miyanda has wondered why the UPND Vgovernment is not declaring the hunger situation in the country a national disaster.
Mr Miyanda is of the view that that way, the Donor Community can come to the aid and save people’s lives instead of burying the heads in the sand, pretending everything is well.
In a press statement issued to Smart Eagles, he said these empty promises of “DON’T WORRY, THINGS WILL IMPROVE” from Government can no longer make sense and Zambians hardly can put up with such.
He recalled that d uring Levy Patrick Mwanawasa and Rupiah Banda’s rulership, the country had similar situations, but the Government was able to source some maize from outside the country which was given to people on FOOD FOR WORK arrangements.
“There is urgent need for the government to assess hunger situation in the country. Following the poor yields we had in 2022/2023 farming season due to poor rainfall pattern, coupled with overselling of maize by some small scale farmers in the quest to meet other financial needs, most stocks have run out as far back as December and people have been surviving on mangoes and other wild fruits/roots in the countryside,” said Mr Miyanda.
“In rural setups, the situation is more pathetically biting because families do not have any stable way of earning a living, apart from few who are involved in illegal charcoal burning and a vbit of gardening, especially in areas where they have some water.”
He noted that those are the ones who can manage to buy mealie meal from local shops or travel to town for the commodity which is also ever escalating in the price.
Mr Miyanda indicated that those who still have some maize are selling it at K220 per bucket.
“But most of them are grappling with life challenges and only surviving by God’s grace. We are appealing to Ministers, area Members of Parliament, other national leaders, area Councilors and even traditional leaders to step out from their comfort Zones and gather more information on the matter so Government should find a way of helping out before we begin to receive reports of people dying of hunger,” he added.
“THE PINCH OF THE HIGH COST OF LIVING is real and has not spared anyone in the country because prices of essential commodities are ever skyrocketing. Worse still, the so-called cheaper or affordable Mealie meal being supplied by Zambia National Service and Zambia Correctional Service is only found in dotted places in urban areas and very few people are accessing it. Suffice to say hunger is one thing that can not be politicised because it is real and needs action.”