Vice President Inonge Wina has directed the Ministry of Agriculture to quickly assess and rehabilitate all old dams across the country to prevent disasters like the case in Mumbwa District in Central Province.
Speaking in Mumbwa when she visited the area where over 270 people, livestock and agricultural fields were affected by floods by a dam burst.
Wina said it is worrying that the dam (Kandesha Dam) which was constructed in the 1950s has not been receiving adequate maintenance.
She said government is concerned about the situation because it spends a lot of money in responding to disasters that could be prevented if measures are taken.
The Vice President said that with intensified rains, it is expected that the damaged dam will release even more water which would flood people’s homes and cause damage to the infrastructure.
She said people should not go back to their houses yet until the situation is certified safe.
The Vice President has also directed the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit-DMMU to increase the relief allocation to the affected families most of who are currently accommodated at the camp at St Edmond School within Mumbwa.
She further called on the Ministry of Health to provide the needed medical supplies to the affected families to avoid outbreak of diseases such as cholera and other waterborne diseases.
Wina however thanked the Zambia Airforce and the people of Mumbwa for the prompt response during the rescue of victims.
She said the intervention by the community led to saving a lot of lives that could have been lost if they had not responded.
Earlier DMMU Assistant Director for Prevention and Mitigation, Lenganji Sikaona briefed the vice President that that more than 270 households were displaced and are currently being kept at a school.
Sikaona said the floods that brought about the bursting of the Kandesha dam destroyed a lot of properties and Infrastructure.
He said the situation further paralysed government operations because key government installations were damaged.
He however praised the multi-sectoral team for the various interventions that resulted in bringing the situation to normal.