—Mandia ward councillor, Brighton Mwampole, has urged farmers in Kazungula district to work hard if they are to fight poverty in their communities.
Mr Mwampole said it was saddening to note that while some people were busy working in their fields, others were doing illegal activities such as poaching in the neighbouring country, Zimbabwe.
He said it was very disheartening to hear reports of killings in the neighbouring Zimbabwe involving people from his ward due to involvement into illegal activities by the community members.
Mr Mwampole was speaking in Katombola during Farmers’ Day under Citizens Participation in Adaptation to Climate Change project spearheaded by Programme for Sustainable Rural Development (PSRD) which is funded by Oxfam in Sekute chiefdom in Kazungula district.
He urged the farmers to be innovative by taking issues of agriculture seriously, saying it was the easiest way of putting more money into their pockets instead of doing short-cuts that could result in endangering their lives.
The civic leader also observed that Sekute chiefdom was blessed with the natural resources that God freely gave the community which members can take advantage of by coming up with activities that would enable them become rich people.
Mr Mwampole thanked PSRD for coming on board to assist farmers in Sekute chiefdom venture into other income generating activities in order to improve their livelihood.
Earlier, Livingstone District Meteorological Senior Officer, Munalula Mate, charged that there are no reasons for farmers to complain of poor yields when the country has had sufficient rainfall in each rainy season.
Mr Mate said the country has sufficient natural resources with enough rainfall and good soils related to good harvest hence the need for farmers to work extra hard in order to bring food on the table.
He appreciated PSRD, a Non-Governmental Organization, for bringing the climate change adaptation project to the communities, adding that issues of climate change were real.
And representive of Chief Sekute, induna George Mapanda said he was impressed with the achievements as seen from what he saw in farmers’ fields in the area, adding that farming was important in sustaining their livelihoods.
Induna Mapanda thanked the NGO for the support in bringing development to the people of Sekute chiefdom.
Meanwhile, PSRD project manager, Simeon Zgambo, said he was impressed with farmers’gardens in the areas visited in Mushekwa and Sepiso villages in Katombola area and urged farmers to continue with the spirit of hard work if they were to win more support from donors.
Mr Zgambo explained that his organization had embarked on a three-year climate change adaptation project in communities in Sekute chiefdom which is a disaster prone area, with challenges of animal diseases, flooding and droughts among other challenges prominent in the area.
He said farmers along the Zambezi River went into agriculture while others had ventured into goat-rearing in order to improve their standards of living.
PSRD had given out seed and pesticides to the project beneficiaries and engaged officers from the department of agriculture who trained farmers in the area on how to grow a variety of crops.
K470, 000 had so far been spent toward the project since April last year when the first phase was launched.