DMMU sends experts to Shangombo to assess hunger situation

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The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has dispatched a team of experts from Lusaka to Shangombo district to assess the impact of a looming famine in the area.

Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) Sinjembela Member of Parliament Poniso Njeulu disclosed this to ZANIS today saying the team was dispatched last week.

Mr. Njeulu said the experts were currently in the area evaluating the levels of hunger which was caused by poor yields due to prolonged dry spells that were experienced during the last farming season.

He said the team would among other things identify the most vulnerable areas, the level of famine, the quantity of food required and determine when the food can be taken to the district.

Mr. Njeulu, who is also Information and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister, has since thanked government for urgently responding to the needs of the people of Shangombo.

He said providing relief food to the area was the only hope for survival for the people of Shangombo.

He further appealed to the people of Shangombo to remain calm while government was addressing their problem and implored them not to politicize relief food once it was taken to the district.

Last month, the people of Shangombo district and other parts of Western province appealed to government to intervene in the looming hunger in the region.

In Shangombo district, a Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives crop assessment that was conducted in Siwelewele camp revealed that there was a reduction in crop yields especially in maize.

The reduction in crops yields ranges between 15 to 20 per cent, which translates into an estimated 75 per cent reduction in this year’s crop harvest from last year’s.