–Residents of Makunku ward in Itezhi tezhi district in Central Province have appealed to government to send relief food as most residents are reported to be starving due to lack of food.
The shortage of food has been caused by army worms which attacked about 22 hectares of farms thereby creating the food shortage in the area.
Further, heavy downpours that hit the area this rain season ruined some crops.
Makunku ward Councilor Charles Kamuti made the appeal in Makunku yesterday when Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Greyford Monde visited the area.
Mr. Kamuti said that army worms attacked the area and the re-planted maize has not grown well saying the harvest for this year is likely to be poor hence the need for relief food.
“We have a problem of food, our crops were eaten by army worms and we have not enough food to see us to the harvesting time” Mr. Kamuti said.
He said that a Kilogram of maize is being sold at an exorbitant price which the majority of people in the area cannot afford.
Mr. Kamuti called on government to find a solution to avert possible deaths of people in the area from hunger.
Meanwhile Mr. Kamuti has appealed to government to build bridges across some critical crossing areas used by school going children in the area.
He said that school going children have been missing classes during rainy season because they cannot cross flooded streams.
The civic leader named the most affected schools as Mauluzhi and Cholobete Primary schools
And Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Mr. Greyford Monde said that he will ensure that the matter reaches the Office of the Vice-president so that it is sorted out with the urgency it deserves.
The Deputy Minister said that the hunger problem seems to be a major one in most parts of the district saying that Lubanda area in Chief Shimbizhi’s Chiefdom has also reported the problem.
“Most residents here depend on agriculture and livestock and it is sad that worms and heavy rains hit this area hard” Mr. Monde said.
Mr. Monde also told the residents of Makunku that government has priotised early distribution of farming inputs following complaints that 2012/2013 distribution was not good.
‘During the 2013/2014 farming season farming inputs such as fertilizer and seed will reach the district by June and July so that farmers can adequately prepare for their farming activities,” Mr. Monde said.
He further asked the residents to be patient and use what they have carefully before government secures relief food for them.