Hunger hits Chief Sikongo’s area

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LILLIAN CHIKANDI writes

CHIEF Sikoongo’s spokesperson, Jethro Mandeva, has said that the Chirundu district-based chiefdom has been hit by serious hunger.
He said the chiefdom is grateful that government sent some relief maize to the area but that that it was not enough to cater for everyone.
“Only few people benefited and a big number are still living in hunger,” said Mr Mandeva.
Mr. Mandeva said the chiefdom was worried that the hunger situation was forcing most people to resort to selling off their livestock to sustain their livelihood without animals were stealing from others.
He complained that Sikoongo chiefdom was also grappling with cattle rustling which he said was on the increase.
He said that the chiefdom will not tolerate the vice and reminded the people that stealing was a sin.
The chief’s spokesperson also disclosed that the other challenge facing the chiefdom was illicit charcoal burning which he said was damaging the forests at an alarming rate.
He said that most people had shifted to the forest where they were indiscriminately cutting down trees for charcoal burning hence promoting deforestation.
Mr. Mandeva also stated that most people currently engaged in charcoal burning had not been guided on how to cut trees because they were now no longer obtaining licenses from the Forestry Department.
He called on the Forestry Department to intensify forest patrols in order to enforce the law and preserve forests.
Mr Mandeva told The Sun yesterday that the chiefdom had also put in place some controls recently to try and stop charcoal burning.
He however said that the chief’s action had created lots of misunderstandings in the community while the people had continued to cut trees to produce charcoal.
Mr. Mandeva called on the district commissioner, the Zambia Police, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other stakeholders to collaborate in ending the indiscrimate burning of trees for charcoal.
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