GOVERNMENT has stepped up efforts in getting relief food to more than 1,000 people displaced by floods in Kaputa.
The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has released 12 tonnes of maize, while a boat has also been deployed to the area after a bridge on Mporokoso-Kaputa Road collapsed.
Northern Province Minister Freedom Sikazwe said a Zambian National Service land development unit based in Mansa in Luapula Province has also been dispatched to assess and put up a temporary
“As far as food is concerned the disaster management unit has begun distributing the relief food, a fact that was confirmed to me by the District Commissioner in Kaputa,” Mr Sikazwe said.
While 30 tents had been put up to provide shelter to the 1,063 residents who were left homeless after their houses flooded and others collapsed following unrelenting rains in the area, Mr Sikazwe said an additional 100 tents were needed.
Mr Sikazwe, who was in Kaputa to assess the situation, directed the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit to begin the distribution of food and other materials to some of the families accommodated at a school.
The minister described the situation in Kaputa as dire, adding that what he feared the most was a possible outbreak of diarrhoeal diseases because lavatories were submerged and faecal matter had contaminated water sources.
A medical team had been dispatched but was making slow progress because of the bad condition of the road.
Mr Sikazwe assured the affected families that Government would provide all the necessities required to see them through the disaster.
He asked the provincial medical office to consider dispatching some mobile hospitals to Kaputa because they were four-wheel drive and could easily traverse the area.
Meanwhile, heavy rain have destroyed more than 450 crops fields in Nsama District.
The rain which resulted in flooding in Kaputa extended to Nsama where fields were flooded.
Nsama District Commissioner Panji Chilingala said yesterday that it was estimated that close to 600 fields of the staple maize and cassava could be affected.
Mr Chilangala, who described the situation as serious, said the compromised food security had pushed up mealie-meal prices to K150 per K25 bag.
He said the residents had appealed to Government to sell subsided maize to them through the FRA.
Times of Zambia