–Northern Province Permanent Secretary, Hlobotha Nkunika, has commended the Irish government for funding developmental projects that are being implemented through Self Help Africa (SHA) in the province.
Mr Nkunika said the gesture demonstrates the good bilateral relationship between the Zambian government and that country in improving the living standards of the people of Northern Province, particularly in Mbala and Luwingu districts.
He was speaking yesterday during the 2014 First High Level Meeting between the Zambian government and Irish government represented by the Provincial Administration and Irish Ambassador to Zambia, Finbar O’Brien.
The meeting, which was held at Chila Lodge, was also attended by Provincial Minister, Freedom Sikazwe, both Chief Executive Officer and Country Director for Self Help Africa, Lupososhi MP Bwalya Chungu and delegations from Mbala and Luwingu councils.
Mr Nkunika noted that since 1982, Irish Aid has maintained a focused local development programme in Northern Province through implementing programmes in water and sanitation, education, governance, livelihood improvement, health and HIV/AIDS.
The Permanent Secretary said these interventions have brought about significant changes to the targeted beneficiaries and institutions through the programmes.
He also said there was anxiety in 2012 when the Irish Aid was phasing out its activities in the province but has continued to implement developmental activities through Self Help Africa (SHA).
Mr Nkunika disclosed that SHA was now implementing activities in line with the focus of the Sixth National Development Plan targeting 16, 000 households in Mbala and 10, 000 households in Luwingu by 2017 aimed at improving the living standards of the people of the two districts.