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Call to Lindi: Battle famine with drought-resistant crops

19th February 2013
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Mama Salma Kikwete

Lindi residents have been urged to continue cultivating finger millet, a drought resistant crop in order to fight famine that has been recurring in the region.

The call was made by a Member of the National Executive Committee of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), Mama Salma Kikwete, when speaking to residents of Tandangongoro, Ng’apa and Rahaleo wards in Lindi District during her seven-day party tour in the district.

Mama Kikwete, who is the First Lady, said that the climatic conditions in Lindi Region are generally dry, especially for the most part the year, saying in the past residents of the region used to highly engage in the cultivation of finger millet, but now there is a shift as residents tend to cultivate rice more but it is unfortunate that the crop is not drought resistant, something that has caused recurrence of food shortage in the area.

“Apart from applying modern agriculture in finger millet production, you can as well engage in cassava production, whereas from an acre you can reap up to 20 sacks, which is about 2 tonnes and if you sell, you can get money to buy other types of food, while improving your earnings as well,” advised Mama Kikwete.

As a NEC member she said that women should not fear to ask their leaders, both government and political party leaders direct questions that would give answers to their unsolved problems.

“Use your right to express yourselves freely by asking meaningful questions. Women and children face numerous problems, especially access to quality services, if you keep quite, how are your leaders going to know about them?,” she emphasised.

For his part, Lindi Urban Mayor Frank Magali said that the district is facing shortage of food, whereby about 287 tonnes are needed but the government has managed to send 172.2 tonnes, out of which, 17.2 tonnes will be distributed for free to people who qualify and the remaining 155 tonnes will be sold at the price of 50/- per kilo.

“So far, there is no person who has died of hunger in all 18 wards in the district, but the magnitude of the problem differs from one ward to another. The most affected is Mtanda ward which will get 58 tonnes of relief food,” said Magali.

In the meetings, a total of 46 CCM Members, 51 of the Youth Wing, 79 of the Women's Wing and 105 of the Parents wing joined the party, whereby people also had an opportunity to ask questions on health, education, electricity, roads and water issues.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN