The African Development Bank has helped communities in Zambia acquire goods worth around $450,000 since mid-2020 to cushion vulnerable people from the impact of COVID-19.
In the Nakonde district on the Tanzanian border, the Bank authorized the Zambian government to set aside $200,000 from a livestock project that was near completion to procure and distribute COVID-19 relief packages of food, livestock, farming inputs and medical materials.
The relief packages included 600 goats, 44 cattle, 2,000 chickens, 13 metric tonnes of chicken feed, 520 kilos of pasture seeds and two egg incubators. The assistance targeted 75 cooperatives and benefited 161 livestock farmers.
Medicine, hygiene supplies and food were distributed to community health workers and people affected by COVID-19. The provisions included food rations, hand sanitizers, liquid detergent, cleaning materials and medical equipment such as thermometers and surgical masks.
Face masks and hand sanitizers being distributed in Mungwi District, Northern Province
One of the beneficiaries was Michael Simwinga, a 48-year-old farmer from Kaombwe in the Nakonde district. He received three heads of cattle and sunn hemp seeds.
“I am now able to buy fertilizer, feed my family and educate my children. There is a lot of benefit in the community for those who have benefitted from the scheme,” Simwinga said.
Zambia’s Minister of Fisheries and Livestock, Nkandu Luo, helped to hand over the materials. The National Coordinator of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, Chanda Kabwe, whose organization helped to identify the beneficiaries, commended the Bank and the ministry for assisting communities.
In 10 districts covered by the African Development Bank-funded Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project, the Bank authorized the procurement of COVID-19 relief materials worth $250,000 to support the aquaculture sector, targeting districts where fish farming is particularly vulnerable.
The funds were released within the framework of the Bank’s COVID-19 Response Facility and the Africa Food Crisis Response to COVID-19 – two facilities that aim to lessen the economic and social impact of the pandemic across Africa.
The Bank-financed Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project supported aquaculture research stations to produce and distribute fingerlings to schools and vulnerable households.
Marjory Mulenga in Shiwang’andu in northern Zambia was given 2,000 fingerlings as she and her husband were struggling to feed their children. She had dug two ponds but could not afford to stock them.
“With the 2,000 fingerlings and the knowledge given to me to stock my ponds, my livelihood has improved and I am better able to take care of my 14 dependents because fish farming is a good source of income and protein,” she said.
Dorothy Kabunda watches over her recently stocked pond in Chirundu District
About 100 schools that constructed ponds are being provided with technical support and fingerlings. In addition, 1.2 million fingerlings have been distributed to 1,049 households that dug their own ponds under the supervision of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, which also launched a COVID-19 awareness campaign, with messages broadcast in seven local languages and English on 20 community radio stations.
The Minister of Works and Supply, Sylvia Chalikosa, and the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, Raphael Nakanchinda, handed over some of the supplies and thanked the Bank for its support. The items were distributed to local leaders as well as officials from the Ministry of Health.