Hunger is stalking Monze district caused by low maize harvest of maize as a result of little rains received in the current farming season, says Chief Chona of the Tonga people.
The chief said people in his chiefdom were starving and will need food relief from Government.
“There is hunger in my chiefdom. The farmers had planted enough maize but the rainfall was very erratic in that it had stopped raining for almost a month. I think we would have had a bumper harvest if we had good rains,” he said.
He said people from Chiefdom had not planted other crops apart from maize which they solely depend on for their livelihoods adding “there are no other crops that we grow; we do not grow cassava or finger millet”.
The chief stated that place like kayola; Moomba and Namateba have been experiencing hunger for some time now and wondered how they would survive till the next farming season.
“We are however still harvesting the maize so I cannot conclude on how much maize we will harvest but the yield so far is very poor because of the rainfall pattern. We have already started experiencing hunger in our chiefdom in places like kayola, Moomba and Namateba,” he said.
He explained that the poor rainfall pattern destroyed most crops that farmers from his chiefdom planted and that only a few crop survived.
“Those who had started planting earlier their maize was destroyed with the early rains most of it were being eaten by termites and were falling down and the rains when it came continued pouring making the crops rote,” he said.
Chief Chona further urged the government and well-wishers to seriously consider rendering help to his people.
“I would urge the government to seriously consider us in this line because we need support from them and well-wishers to help us out,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Chona urged contactors working on the roads near his chiefdom to pay the people who provide them with stones used at the contraction.
Chief Chona added that his people had provided support to the contractors whose cost of transporting stones from Kafue had been cut.
“I don’t know why they are hard hearted by not giving back to the community. We have tried to talk to these people but it’s like they have turned a deaf ear to us,” he said.
“’Those stones are gotten from my chiefdom and deep walls have been put there but feedback from the community is very small, it seems like the Indians running this business are forgetting the chiefdom, they are abusing my people,” he said. He suggested that all the cost that was cut off from their transportation of stones from Kafue must be used in benefiting the local people who provided them with free stones.