President Edgar Lungu has assured the people of Mambwe District in Eastern Province that government will provide food and tents to ensure that people in areas which were recently hit by floods are as comfortable as possible.
The Head of State was speaking in Malambo constituency when he paid a courtesy call on chief Mukanya and chief Jumbe of Mambwe District to assess the impact floods in the area had on local residents.
He was accompanied by the Minister in the Office of the Vice-President Olipa Phiri, Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu and Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Defense, Stardy Mwale, the DMMU National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe, Ministry of Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary Eng Charles Mushota and Ministry of Local Government Permanent Secretary Bishop Eddie Chomba.
President Lungu said government was currently brainstorming to find lasting solutions to floods.
“We have agreed to share the plight of our people. And for me, I am glad that you are here, your royal highnesses, because this is not the first that this has happened, and I don’t think this is the last time that this has happened, it will happen again. I know that every time they have reported this problem, solutions are advanced. This is home; we cannot be relocated from here. We agree that people cannot be relocated from here, they have to remain here because this is our home. Now, the question is how do you help us find lasting solutions? There used to be fields, but now, they have become settlements, villages. The question is: how do you balance this so that when this problem comes, we are ready for it and don’t leave this place?” President Lungu wondered.
“This challenge has been there during the colonial days and somehow and we went through it. But we, as government, we are sitting down together, saying which solution is going to last forever. People who live in flood places know how to live in there. People who live in mountains also know how to live in there. People who live in forests also know how to live in there to survive. So, let us find solutions, which will help us to overcome this problem and save the resources and inconvenience of having our people…As we provide relief, it’s temporal. It’s short term. We think that if we put our heads together, it might not be a situation, which we can answer now because I would like to believe that our technocrats should do some serious thinking together so that we find the lasting solution.”
He assured the chiefs that government would provide tents and food to make locals in area, which were recently hit by floods, as comfortable as possible.
“But I can assure you that we will provide what we have as government in terms of making our people as comfortable as possible. We are always monitoring the situation and their needs as they develop. Tents will be provided, food will be provided. But no place will be like home. We will quickly work on that so that people can go back to their homes,” said President Lungu.
And Chief Jumbe said he was impressed with government’s quick response.
“We are very much impressed with the quick response! Continue with the same spirit. Even us, here, we are not just sitting down. We want to plan for better, we want to plan so that we advise our subjects to move to higher land so that we avoid any occurrence. It has been there, mainly it’s after 10 years it’s there, but we have to plan and plan for good so that we save the resources for other things,” said Chief Jumbe.
The Head of State also distributed relief food and other support material affected residents.
Government, through DMMU, took 500 bags of mealie meal, cooking sets, kapenta, beans, among other items, to the affected communities.