CHIEF Sipatunyana of the Tonga people of Kalomo district in Southern Province has appealed to Government for relief food because of the anticipated poor harvest this year due to poor rains.
The chief said because of erratic rainfall, there would be need for Government to consider sending relief food to his area due to the looming hunger situation.
He said from the reports he has so far received from his headmen and from his personal assessments in most parts of his area, it was clear that his subjects have been hit hard by the drought which has wilted crops and dried up most water bodies for humans and livestock.
“I spoke to three headmen and also from what I saw in Zimba over the weekend, I would say the harvest in my chiefdom will be poor. This is due to a persistent drought we have just experienced,” he said.
He explained that a few families that would have a little food for consumption at household level were those who planted early, adding that even them, their food may not last up to the next harvest season, hence the need for Government to come in and help.
“A few farmers who planted in November and early December will harvest something, but not much because they planted less. This means all my subjects will need relief food at some point,” he said.
He explained that even the animal population will be greatly affected because there would not be enough water to last until the next rainy season.
“Livestock will be badly affected because there is insufficient water in dams and other water sources. In all, we are hit hard as chiefdom”, he said.
Most parts of Zambia were likely to record a poor harvest due to inadequate rains in the 2014/2015 season with Southern province being among the worst hit.