Headman Kaondo in Chieftainess Nyanje chiefdom of Sinda District Stephen Banda says the probability of people developing malnutrition in the area is high due to lack of food.
In an interview, the traditional leader feared that communities will experience devastating hunger this year because government had failed to release inputs in good time to pave way for a bumper harvest.
He expressed serious concerns that once communities lack food, then hunger will cause malnutrition in most families, which will increase costs for government to provide emergency relief food.
“It’s sad to see the way maize appear in fields, there is no fertilizer to apply, this is because government always supplies inputs very late such that people can’t have ample time to prepare in advance, and this is the situation, which will hurt communities with hunger. Now where there is hunger and there is no food, just know that disease will be seen among the people, and if you talk of malnutrition it does not see faces as long there is no food, it attacks,” Banda said.
He added that it was unfortunate that despite several problems people are facing, such as deplorable roads and lack of clean water, among others, people still faced hardships in the agricultural sector.
“How many problems are we going to be with? We have no good roads; if you talk of clean water, we don’t know when we are going to have it because we drink from shallow wells, then we top up with poor agricultural system,” Banda complained.
In Sinda District, the electronic voucher system received widespread condemnation because it had repeatedly failed to work for farmers.
Currently, several farmers in the area still have not collected their fertilizer.