Govt releases banana boats to Chitanda, Mashikili wards
Chibombo Jun 29/13, ZANIS ——-Government has as given two banana boats worth KR16, 000 to people of Chitanda and Mashikili wards in Keembe Constituency of Chibombo district to facilitate their crossing over Lunjofwa river at Chabu.
Chibombo District Commissioner, Felix Mang’wato ,who handed over the two boats to Chief Chitanda’s senior headman Shungu yesterday, said the PF government was concerned about the lives lost on Lunjofwa River as a result of poor water transport.
Mr Mwang’wato said the people of Mashikili ward in Chief Liteta’s area and those of Chitanda ward in Chief Chitanda’s area have been finding it difficult to cross Lunjofwa River using dug-out canoes which easily capsized resulting into loss of lives.
He warned that his office will not take kindly anyone who will maliciously damage the boats, saying such people should be reported to police and ensure they are prosecuted.
Mr Mang’wato said following the reports of the tragedies on the river, government decided to source banana boats for people to be using on the river while the request for the construction of a bridge across Lunjofwa was still being looked into.
He explained that the route across Lunjofwa at Chabu was shorter even for referral cases from Makoka Rural Health Centre in Chief Chitanda’s area to Liteta hospital rather than going round via Malambanyama.
The DC urged traditional leaders to work together with Chitanda ward councillor, Salia Makwangula and Mashikili ward councillor, Wesley Mukwanya and put in measures of how best the boats would be put to use to benefit everyone.
Mr Mang’wato urged people in the area to continue working with the government of the day, saying PF government had a lot of development programs meant to be delivered to all areas that will uplift the living standards of people.
Central Province Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) coordinator, Ingribet Bondo, urged the beneficiary communities to guard the boats jealously so that they last longer.
Mr Bondo warned that his office will be sad to hear that only a few people were using the boats while the rest reverted to using canoes because others were selfish.
Mr Bondo also advised elderly people not to allow children to use canoes on their own saying it would be more disastrous.
He urged the community to form Satellite Disaster Management and Mitigation Committees (SDMMC) from communities on both sides of the river and make them effective to ensure proper management of the boats.
And receiving the boats on behalf of the community, Chief Chitanda’s senior headman Shungu, commended government for the gesture, saying the boats will go a long way in ensuring safety of people’s lives on the river.
Headman Shungu called upon all the people to support government by ensuring that the boats were put to good use for all to benefit.