—Mumbwa District Commissioner, Sunday Shamabanse, has warned Mumbwa residents, whose houses had collapsed in Nangoma area following heavy rains early this year, against settling back in the same area.
Mr Shamabanse told ZANIS in an interview that his office has received reports that some people have decided to go back and were rehabilitating their collapsed houses with the aim of settling back.
He said government, through the Disaster Management and Mitigations Unite (DMMU), had advised the residents of Nangoma to move to alternative upper land as the place is a valley and prone to floods during heavy rains.
He noted with sadness that some people were still going back to the area despite their past experience and government’s warning.
Early this year, several houses collapsed in Mumbwa’s Nangoma area, damaging property and leaving over 1600 households homeless.
And Mr Shamabanse has warned of an artificial famine in Mumbwa district if peasant farmers do not desist from selling all their maize to unscrupulous briefcase buyers who are offering attractive prices.
He has called on peasant farmers in the area to reserve some maize and that it was unfortunate that some peasant farmers in the area were selling all their maize stock due to the attractive prices ranging between K70 and K80 per 50 kg bag as opposed to the K50 price that government was offering.
Mr Shamabanse said the district had poor yields due to heavy rains that flooded and destroyed maize, adding that farmers should hold on to the little crop they harvested.
He has since advised the farmers to act responsibly as government would not be held accountable for the food shortage and will not manage to feed the area in case of a famine resulting from the sale of maize.
Meanwhile, the Mumbwa DC has disclosed that the construction and rehabilitation project of feeder roads in the district is progressing well.
Mr Shamabanse said most roads in his district were left in a deplorable state following heavy rains that the district experienced.
He commended government for the prompt response taken in assisting the people of Mumbwa district following numerous problems that followed the heavy rains which hit the district during the past rainy season.
In the education sector, Mumbwa District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), Theresa Sitali, says government, in partnership with the private sector, has sponsored about 40 community school teachers to train as primary school teachers.
Mrs Sitali said DEBS, in partnership with World Vision Zambia and other partners, has sponsored community school teachers in the district to train as primary school teachers through distance learning education at Malcolm Moffat Teachers Training College.
She said the teachers are also being given an opportunity to upgrade their General Certificate Education levels by re-writing some subjects as they undertake the three-year course.
She said the initiatives will also improving the quality of education being offered in community schools as well as help the teachers to practice as they train.
Mrs Sitali also said the move will help in maintaining trained teachers in rural schools as they will remain in their respective schools upon completion of their training.
Meanwhile, a tradition leader in Chief Shakumbila’s area in Mumbwa district has bemoaned the high levels of child pregnancy and early marriages in the area.
Senior Headman Dickson Shambana said the number of school girls dropping out of school has increased due to child pregnancy.
He told ZANIS that the traditional leadership has taken upon itself to hold sensitization campaigns against defilement and early marriages in the area.
Headman Shambana noted that once children are exposed to sex at a tender age, they are deprived of their childhood as they take up the role of parenting and managing families.
Early this year, First Lady, Christine Kaseba, launched a campaign against early marriages in the country. The campaign was launched in Eastern Province.