A cotton field just harvested

A cotton field just harvested

LUSAKA (December 2012) – Private sector-led initiatives are helping cotton farmers in Zambia to rapidly multiply production and work their way out of poverty.

“I have built about eight houses on my farm, I have bought a tractor and I am sending my children to some of the best schools in the country. I am comfortable,” brags Forbes Gwilize, a Zambian farmer whose fortunes have been turned around by growing cotton. Read full story…

Commercial businesses are displacing rural farmers in Zambia

By Nebert Mulenga

LUSAKA (November 2012) – While the opening up of vast commercial businesses in Zambia could be a positive development in creating jobs and growing the economy, it is now threatening the country’s food security situation by displacing the people who feed the nation.

“They (investors) came with guns and threatened to shoot anyone who resisted moving out. They burnt all our household properties without any notice. They burnt my food barns, clothes, blankets, bedding, television set – they even burnt my fields,” recounts Pretorious Nkhata, a Copperbelt-based farmer who was displaced from his farmland in 2008 and has since then regressed into deeper poverty. Read full story…

 

These people have been left homeless after their houses were demolished and all of them have since been spending nights inside this house

LUSAKA (October 2012) – The mass demolition of houses deemed illegal is leaving people stranded and exerting further stress on the already desperate housing shortage in Zambia.

“They drove the grader right into our house, and brought down part of it. I have lost goods, food. I am now stranded with my children. We have nowhere to sleep, nowhere to go. They have killed us alive,” mourns Emmeldah Mutale, 35, a Lusaka widow whose 75 million Kwacha two-bedroom house was rased on October 3, 2012. Read full story…

Agriculture has a much more promising future in Zambia than mining

By Nebert Mulenga

MUMBWA (October 2012) – The Zambian government has made the agricultural sector one of the pillars of economic growth and now ordinary people in rural areas are beginning to see a promising future in the sector as a major source of employment.

“It is better to work on the farm; you also learn how to do your own farming,” says Justine Kanguya, 20, a resident of Mumbwa district, some 150 km west of the capital Lusaka. Read full story…

The cost of food has significantly risen over the past few months

By Nebert Mulenga

LUSAKA (September 2012) – The introduction of a new minimum wage law has pushed the cost of living upwards in Zambia as thousands of producers and service providers continue to transfer the cost of paying new salaries onto the consumers.

“Everything at the market is now very expensive, and it is like they are being increased every day,” complains  Mwamba Kasonde, a housewife in the capital Lusaka. Read full story…

Zambian maids are optimistically looking forward to their new salaries

By Nebert Mulenga

LUSAKA (July 2012) – The new government-imposed and non-negotiable minimum wage scales have seen domestic and general workers’ salaries leap-frog mine workers’ pay packets in some cases and Zambian maids have responded by dreaming big.

“This is like a prayer answered for me,” shouts the jubilant Priscilla Mwemba, a domestic worker, who among other things now plans to rent a house for her mother from the proceeds of her new pay. Read full story…

A typical insaka in session

By Nebert Mulenga

HARARE (June 2012) – As the debate on regional integration continues to dominate local and international agenda, a Southern African regional organisation has devised a unique way of getting the results – drawing valid lessons from traditional African society where people lived in closely-knit communities.

“In traditional Africa, decisions were by consensus and conflict was avoided through careful discussions,” says Michael Mutale in justifying the approach of his organisation, the Zambezi Watercourse Commission, to regional integration. Read full story…

Jose Chibure

By Nebert Mulenga

HARARE (June 2012) – The Zambezi River, which has for thousands of years supported livelihoods in southern Africa with its rich diversity of fish species, is now facing a bleak future if its environmental needs continue to be ignored.
“Some wetlands, particularly in the Lower Zambezi Wetlands in Mozambique, are drying out due to lack of water,” observes Jose Chibure, an environmental expert working in the Zambezi River Basin. Read full story…

A woman politician, Mirriam Kauseni, meeting community leaders during her campaigns

By Nebert Mulenga

MANSA (May 2011) – Zambia has one of Southern Africa’s worst records of women participation in politics with only 22 women out of the current 150 parliamentarians and 91 women occupying local government seats of the over 3,000 councillors countrywide. But that scenario may soon change with more women now stepping forward to fight for elective positions ahead of the forthcoming general election.

“I am working very hard, I am campaigning, I am on the ground to ensure the party adopts me, to ensure I win the election after I am adopted,” says Mirriam Kauseni, who is seeking to become her own town’s first female MP. Read full story…

Boys and girls are sharing these grass-thatched huts as 'couples' at day high schools in Luapula Province...

By Nebert Mulenga

MANSA (May 2011) – Pupils at day high schools in Zambia’s Luapula province are renting their own houses and pairing themselves as couples, resulting in high teenage pregnancies and contraction of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and AIDS.

“We were staying the three of us [girls], then we started sharing the house with three guys and that is how we paired ourselves [as married couples],” says 17-year-old Dorcas, who left school after she fell pregnant early 2011. Read full story…