Vice-President Inonge Wina says government has no intentions of declaring the droughts being experienced in Southern, Western and Central provinces as a national disaster.
Vice-President Wina says the Northern part of the country has experienced good rainfall and it will be able to feed the nation for the coming months and years.
She was responding to Monze Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwimbu during the Vice-President’s question time in Parliament on Friday.
Mwimbu asked why government couldn’t declare the severe droughts being experienced in some parts of a country as a national disaster so that they could lobby for support from donors.
“Your honour, you are aware that the country and the region has been afflicted by severe drought in certain instances and in certain areas we have had severe flooding. You are also aware that government has no resources to finance the effects of the drought situation that we are facing in the country. You are also aware that government has been failing to finance most of the operations of government. Having taken note of that, don’t you think its prudent on the part of government to declare the situation in Zambia a national disaster so that we can start lobbying with other donor countries?” asked Mwiimbu.
In response, Vice-President Wina said government had no intentions of declaring the droughts being experienced in Southern, Western and Central provinces as a national disaster.
“Mr Speaker, no government in this world can run government systems without resources. And no government in the world can say that they have more than they need to take care of the many developmental programs in those countries. And Zambia is on the ground and will be able to take care of any situation even under the adverse conditions of weather or climate change,” she said.
And Vice-President Wina said the Northern part of Zambia experienced good rainfall hence it would be able to feed the nation for the coming months and years.
“The dry spells were experience mainly in the Southern part of the country; Southern province, Western province and parts of Central province. But the Northern part of Zambia enjoyed some good rainfall. And the Northern part of Zambia will be able to feed this nation for the coming months and years. So to declare a disaster situation for the whole country is not attainable at the moment. If at all there was any declaration of disaster, it may be localized declaration. But for now government has no intention to declare the current situation in the country as a disaster,” she said.
Meanwhile, Solwezi East UPND member of parliament Leaky Kintu wondered why President Edgar Lungu had pledged to donate to cyclone Idai-affected countries when learners in his constituency were sitting on the floor.
“The President whilst in Eastern Province promised that Zambia will donate to our sisters and brothers in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi who are affected by cyclone idai. Now, the learners in Mushindamo are still sitting on the floor, there are no desks in the classrooms right now. Where is the values and principles?” asked Kintu.
In response, Vice-President Wina said government was mobilising resources to help cyclone affected countries because Zambia may also need support from its neighbours one day.
“Mr Speaker, its only human to sympathize with neighbours and friends and family who are experiencing the adverse effects of the cyclone idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi and we send condolences to the families and to the leadership of those countries. Comparing children who sit on the floor, which I doubt very much, in a school in Mushindamo to supporting our neighbours in need, I do not see that connection because one day Zambia will need that support from her neighbours,” said Vice-President Wina.
“So government is mobilising resources to see how we can support these three neighbouring countries who are experiencing such devastating conditions in their countries. Zambia is not immune to natural disasters. We can also be in a similar situation any time.”