PRESIDENT Edgar Chagwa Lungu has bemoaned the effects of Climate Change that have resulted in rampant load shedding citing the closure of mostly small businesses and failure of some health facilities to operate as a need of immediate attention.
During his address to parliament today themed, ‘accelerating sustainable development for a better Zambia amidst the impact of climate change,’ President Lungu directed the ministry of energy, from midnight today to prioritise power supply to hospitals and health centres as well as supply to water supply operations.

“I have further seen small businesses such as makeshift stores; locally known as tu-ntemba’s, shutting down as they fail to cope with business due to load shedding. How can a bakery owner run a business if in their manufacturing process power is turned off and at the same time water run out? I see mothers and children in compounds walking long distances in search for water and queuing for it in the few places it is found,” President Lungu said.

“I am aware Mr. Speaker, of some health facilities going without power for long periods of time. I begin to wonder how our health workers are looking after our patients without water and electricity, which are both, extremely important and a human necessity within the management of patients.”
He stated that the above situation was a very serious matter that should not be taken lightly and is one that calls for joint efforts above political divide.

“This is a very serious matter that should not be taken lightly. The inability to have adequate water, generate enough power, grow enough food to feed our people, have all been greatly caused by the effects of climate change. We all seriously need to understand and begin to appreciate this in detail and stop pointing fingers at each other for failure to grow our economy at the desired pace. This natural phenomenon is, a force majeure in the name of climate change,” President Lungu said.
“It does not matter whether you are in government, in opposition, in the private sector or indeed in civil society; all of us are affected by climate change. This is nature, but even if it is nature, we need to join hands and see what we can do about it together.”
He emphasized government’s commitment to ensuring that we fight, and fight vigorously the effects of climate change, for sustainable development of our country.

“As I have said, we must join hands to achieve this. It must be done at political level, inter-governmental level, including corporate and civil society organisations, and at household level,” President Lungu said.

He said as a resilient nation government will ensure that Zambia realigns itself to new ways of sustainability by understanding the changing environment, adapting methods of survival and putting in place action plans that will overcome any challenges and forge ahead.
President Lungu further called on responsible ministries to stop any developments and human activity near water bodies.
He observed that the human activity was also a contributing factor to the environmental problems.

“In this regard, I am directing the ministry of lands and natural resources and the ministry of water development, sanitation and environmental protection to take lead in ensuring that our water sources and the land adjacent to these areas are not adulterated…,” President Lungu instructed.

“Honourable ministers, and your permanent secretaries of the above mentioned ministries, ensure that the Zambia environmental management agency, and the water resources management authority, realigns themselves to effectively carry out their mandate and produce the required results, today and not tomorrow. From today henceforth, I shall not see a house or indeed a factory being built adjacent to our water resource, depriving the majority of other Zambian of usage of this resource.”

Issued By:
Phyllis Chilekwa (Ms)
First Secretary – Press and Public Relations
Embassy of the Republic of Zambia
Brussels – Belgium