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Government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has commenced the distribution of relief mealie meal in Southern province. This is an ongoing program meant to mitigate the hunger situation resulting from the dry spells experienced in most parts of the country.

This came to light when DMMU National Coordinator, Chanda Kabwe handed over the bags of mealie meal in Pemba district. Southern province is the first target because it was the most affected by the dry spells which led to the wilting of the maize crop. A total of 1,500 metric tones of maize has been released for all the thirteen (13) districts in the province. Each district will receive 6,400 by 12.5Kg bags of mealie meal.

Mr Kabwe said the move by government to process the maize into mealie meal is meant to cushion the cost burden on the beneficiaries.It is also to ensure accountability and that the vulnerable receive their support.The mealie meal bags are branded to avoid them being sold on the market. The maize bran from the mealie meal will also be used as supplement for livestock.

And in receiving the mealie meal, Pemba District Commissioner, Reginald Mugoba thanked the government for the gesture, adding that the relief will go a long way in mitigating the hunger situation in the district.

The relief distribution exercise is continuous and every affected district will receive 100 metric tonnes of maize, processed into mealie meal every month until the hunger situation improves.

Mr Kabwe has further assured the nation that FRA has enough maize and that no affected household will die of hunger and that no one will be left behind regardless of political affiliation or tribe. Hunger and other disasters cut across politics and tribe, hence the need for concerted efforts in mitigating disasters.

He furthermore disclosed that DMMU has dispatched teams in the nine provinces which were affected by dry spells and flash floods, to conduct the Vulnerability and Needs Assessment. The assessment is meant to ascertain the actual number of people and households affected by the season. This will enable the Unit to devise an effective response mechanism to mitigate the effects of the season.

Ends/Rachel Mupanga

DMMU Communications Officer

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