Zambia’s President Appeals For Help In Wake Of Drought

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Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema said nearly half of its population has been affected by the ongoing drought with the country needing about $940m (£760m) in aid.

During a national address, President Hichilema said the money is required to “effectively implement immediate life-saving and life-sustaining humanitarian and recovery needs”.

He said, “9.8 million of our people have been adversely affected by the drought”.

“Of these, 6.6 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.”

Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi have also declared states of disaster due to the drought that is sweeping much of Southern Africa.

Mr Hichilema said the effects of the drought were mostly observed in the agriculture sector where one million hectares of planted maize had been adversely affected. Maize meal is Zambia’s staple food.

“With a heavy heart, on behalf of our government and the people of Zambia, we hereby appeal to the international community, our partners within the country, the private sector, the church and civil society organisations, to support our plan financially and materially, in mitigating the devastating effects of the drought,” the president said.

Besides the current food insecurity, Zambia has implemented eight-hour-long electricity rationing periods to conserve power as most of the country’s energy is from hydro sources.