27 Apr 2015 16:00pm
KATIMA MULILO, 27 APR (NAMPA) The first round of emergency food assistance to thousands of drought and flood-affected families is set to start soon in the Zambezi Region.
This was confirmed by Zambezi Regional Council chairperson Raphael Mbala, who told Nampa on Monday the Flood Task Technical Committee approved the distribution about two weeks ago.
Mbala said the food packages, which include maize meal, rice and cooking oil, will first be rolled out to vulnerable registered drought and flood-affected individuals or households in different parts of the region.
The first consignment is currently ready and it will be distributed to the most vulnerable and needy. We have identified these people and listed them in five groups and they will soon benefit from the little we have in emergency food stock now, he said.
All those to benefit with food assistance should be registered with the constituency offices in their areas. This is just so we can properly roll out the programme, he added.
Mbala explained that the most vulnerable persons are those with disabilities, chronic diseases, members of the San communities, pregnant and lactating unemployed mothers, orphans, and pensioners whose livelihood is derived mostly from subsistence farming.
The food assistance comes after the technical committee identified thousands of hectares of land with withered crops due to poor rainfall experienced at the particular areas, while other parts experienced annual flooding which left plantations submerged in water.
He added that there has been no relocation of flood victims as has been the case in previous years during flooding seasons.
Mbala explained that those usually affected by flooding are still living in their homesteads, but the routes or roads to reach their villages have been cut off by water. These floodplains are located in the Kasika, Mbalasinte, Namiyundu, Schuckmannsburg, Muzii and Mpukano villages.
There was no major flood this year. The poor rainfall rendered it low but some of the swamps are flowing and make it impassable to reach certain villages. Usually the flood arrives in February and starts to subdue in September.
So no one has been displaced, even school lessons have not been disrupted as the case experienced in 2012 to 2014, said Mbala.
The council will also be partnering with the Red Cross to provide mosquito nets and water purification tablets to those cut off by the floods.