Govt pledges support to landmine victims
Chipata, September 4, ZANIS….Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba has pledged government’s continued support to victims and survivors of landmine accidents.
Mr.Kalaba says this is because government is aware of some of the untold suffering caused by weapons or remnants of wars.
Mr.Kalaba was speaking in Chipata yesterday when he met survivors and victims of landmines in Eastern province.
He disclosed that is was government’s responsibility to ensure that those who survived landmine explosions and Explosives of Remnant of War (ERWs) are rehabilitated and given psychological social and economic support.
He expressed concern that most survivors are living under poor conditions adding that government is doing everything possible to improve the situation.
The Minister noted that government is also working hard to ensure that survivors are assisted to reintegrate in society in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
Mr. Kalaba added that landmines affect development of communities in various ways as they destroy the lives and livelihoods of people.
He said it is for this reason that his Ministry has embarked on a national wide exercise to identify victims or survivors of land mines in order to come up with a comprehensive and reliable database and address the needs by providing effective support .
He however stated that most areas in the six provinces that were affected by land mines are now free following the clearance by the Zambia Army, ZMAC and the Norwegian People’s Aid who conducted a survey in 2005-2009.
And Eastern province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga has praised government for raising awareness on cluster ammunition in the country.
Dr. Mulenga said the awareness is vital for Eastern province as it borders with countries that once experienced civil wars.
He said there was need for concerted efforts from both government and the private sector in sensitizing the community on the dangers of tempering with explosive objects.
The survivors and victims of landmines that attended the meeting were later presented with assorted items including mealie meal, cooking oil, sugar, rice and blankets.