During the question for oral answer session in Parliament this morning, Vice-President Wina said it was not possible to declare the current situation a national disaster because the happenings were only in selected areas.
She said this in response to a question from UPND Chief Whip and Monze Central member of parliament Jack Mwimbu, who asked Vice-President Wina whether government would consider declaring a national disaster following the drought and flooding and ask the donors to come to the country’s aid.
“We are aware that there has been precedence in this country that whenever there is a severe drought situation and flooding, we always declared a national disaster and we ask the donors to come to our aid. Are you considering to ask the donors to come to our aid and are you considering declaring the drought and flooding situation as a national disaster so that we mobilize the resources that are required?” asked Mwimbu.
However, the Vice-President said if there was to be such a declaration of a disaster, it would then be a localized one, “but for now, the government has no intentions to declare the current situation in the country as a disaster”.
She said no government in this world can run without resources and “no government in the world can say that they have more than what they need to take care of the many developmental in their countries’.
Vice-President Wina said the government was on the ground and would take care of any situation “even under the adverse weather conditions…”
She cautioned Mwiimbu to note that the dry spells experienced were mainly in the Southern part of the country,Western and parts of Central Province.
“But the Northern part of Zambia enjoyed some good rainfall and the Northern part will be able to feed the nation for the coming months and years. To declare a disaster situation for the whole country is not attainable at the moment,” Vice-President Wina said.
And when asked by Kalabo Central member of parliament Chinga Miyutu on what measures government had put in place owing to the number of people affected affected by the extreme weather conditions to combat the looming hunger, Vice-President Wina said the government was not oblivious to what was happening to the country and to the devastating effects of climate change.
“…Government is promoting livestock and aquaculture, especially in rural areas to improve the livelihood of our people. Government has embarked on a number of projects to address the issue of energy generation, especially the area of greener energy sources. Government has also taken a number of interventions to cushion our people against the adverse effects of climate change [such as] the promotion of tree planting and environmental protection, among other issues,” she said.
Vice-President Wina further disclosed that to cushion hunger among the people, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) had started distributing relief food in all districts that requested for relief food.
“And I believe Kalabo in particular received an allocation of 100 metric tones of maize as of last week,” she said.