Let us see what the future of Zambia holds

Today Zambians had the opportunity to cast their votes for a leader they want, but the question that still remains is that will the elected president bring the change the people of Zambia have been longing for since 1964 when Zambia got its independence. Furthermore, will the elections be free and fair. So far Zambia has been blessed with six presidents who did what they could what ever they could to get Zambia where it is today.

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Poverty continues to affect a number of women Photography by Mulumbwa Luchen

All Zambians want is a leader that make the country flourish and bring development because Zambia is blessed with so many resources however, corruption and mismanagement of these resources has made Zambia remain poor. Personally even though i did not cast my vote as i am not in Zambia, i share the same views with my fellow countrymen: which is that i want a leader that will bring development.

Let us be honest and analyse the cost of living in Zambia especially with the kwacha that cannot compete with other currencies making it lose value in the international market. The effect of this is that things have become expensive to import and as a result most people that relayed on importing clothes and food cannot do it that anymore because the kwacha does not have much value. One would agree that the most affected are the farmers that rely on farming to feed their families but with the drought and the number of people expected to go hungry are many.

I wish Zambia all the best and hope the Zambians made the right choice today.

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Political violence undermining freedom of expression in Zambia

The recent political violence in Zambia undermines the freedom and democracy that our fore fathers strongly fought for. Cadres from different political parties are fighting each other on an everyday basis and beating each other and killing for having affiliated with different party presidents. What does this mean for democracy and Zambia as a whole that was once known as a peaceful country? These days one cannot walk freely while wearing a UPND or PF symbol without being beaten, harassed or killed.

The political violence happening should be stopped and people should instead come together and cooperate in order to find solutions to the current economic situation affecting the economy. For instance food prices have gone up, civil servants are not getting paid in time, health facilities are difficult to access especially in rural areas and farmers are not getting their input in time. The effect of the economic crisis is that more people will continue experiencing more poverty in a country were still struggle to afford basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing.

Since when did Zambia become a violent country, since when did people have to beat each other to prove their loyalty to a political party. Everyday social media and the news are broadcast the blood shed that is perpetrating the ten provinces of Zambia instead of broadcasting the problems that the people of Zambia are going through.  Each political party is blaming the other for what is happening rather than taking responsibility for their cadre’s actions. One would say there is a breakdown of order and lawlessness in this beloved country but let’s wait for August 11 and see scopes the seat and becomes Zambia’s eights president.

The Human Rights of people are not considered because huge sums of money are spent on elections and by-elections instead of diverting that money into developing the country. How is it possible that there is not money to pay civil servants in time but there is money to print ballot papers and campaigns? These are the things that people of Zambia need to ask instead of killing each other for affiliating with the ruling party or the opposition.  Your vote is your secret and no one should force you to vote for someone you do not believe in because voting is your right.

Abortion stops a beating heart

Being a good mother has nothing to do with age, but the size of your heart. Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us. Therefore, the life of a mother is a life of a child because the two are blossoms on a single branch.

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God is the giver of life

Children are blessings from God and regardless of the manner in which a child is convinced, be it rape, unplanned pregnancies or planned, no child’s life should be taken away from them. I am anti-abortion not because i do not have a child yet but because it is wrong and is sin against God who gives life.

While teenagers are educated on practicing safe sex all the time, this information is ignored and children are conceived either way.  Imagine your life being sucked out of you before you can even get a chance to say “no mummy, i do want to live”. Being pregnant while in school for instance, does not mean, you should give up on life and your dreams. We have seen people that have made it to the top despite falling pregnant while in university or high school but have managed to get back to their books and made something out of life.

There is no point in feeling sorry for yourself when you discover you are pregnant, why? because a child is never a mistake and abortion should never cross your mind. While your parents and loved ones might get disappointed in you for getting pregnant before the right time,  abortion should be the last resort.

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Abortion is murder and it does not make you “un-pregnant”, instead, it makes you a mother of a dead baby. This does not mean i am encouraging young girls to have unprotected and fall pregnant. I condemn un protected sex because not only can you get pregnant, you could also get HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases such as STIs.

However, if it happens that you get pregnant, abortion should never be the answer because the child you get rid of might be the only child God will ever bless you with. Secondly you could damage your womb to the point were you never conceive in your life and you will have no one to blame but yourself.

The life choices we make have an impact on our future and even when it might not matter at that point in time, one way or the other, karma has a way of coming back to haunt you and you will end up living with the guilt for the rest of your life.Practice safe sex ladies and always remember a baby fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty.

Watch the video on a 12 year old girl give a speech on abortion.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/wOR1wUqvJS4

Being large is not a marker of good health

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Say no to this. photography obtained from Google.com

Obesity a health condition associated with having excess abnormal body fat continues to rise due to increased poor eating habits and preference to junk food in Zambia.The health condition caused by overeating, lack of physical activity and the consumption of food that is high in cholesterol results in a number of health consequences such as hypertension, stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, hypertension and diabetes just to mention a few.

For developing countries like Zambia with low income levels and resources, urbanisation and poverty have played a significant role in shaping the eating habits people particularly those that move from rural areas to urban areas. For instance the idea of being big (fat) is regarded as a sign of living a financially sound status and as a result people prefer western diets to traditional food.

Furthermore, marginalisation between the poor and the rich in society has also influenced the eating habits of people. Therefore, for the less privileged with no knowledge on the health risks caused by fast foods, fast foods such as chicken and chips, pizza and KFC are perceived as meals for the elite.

Secondly, fast foods are also perceived to taste better and are more conventional compared to traditional food such as kapenta, luyuni and nshima that are rich in protein and good for the health.

However, the health sector does not have adequate capacity and facilities to treat the growing number of people suffering from obesity and other various conditions associated with being overweight. The health sector does not have gastric bypass surgery facilities that operate on the obese and as a result people have to go over seize to receive medical attention.

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it might be nice but it has health consequences. photography obtained from Google.com 

Furthermore, people that suffer from non-communicable diseases such as heart failure, diabetes and cardiovascular related diseases. Patients that are diagnosed with heart failure have to travel to South Africa or India to get treatment as the main hospitals in the country do not have the resources to treat such conditions. The costs involved in seeking medical attention are expensive for the less privileged no financial means.

The available heath care resources are limited to addressing primary health care needs and infectious diseases. Therefore the health care needs include treating and fight diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria HIV/AIDS and polio which are priority diseases for both the World Health Organisation and government (WHO).

In addition to this, fighting poverty and under nutrition among children has also contributed to the rise of obesity as the center of attention for the government and various organisations has been finding solutions to poverty and under nutrition.This is because poverty and under nutrition results in poor educational performance which in turn leads to lower adult wages and loss of productivity capacity.

Due to the negligence of the government on the topic of obesity, there has been scanty information provided to raise public awareness on obesity as well as educational programs on its risks. As a result, the lack of awareness provided to the public has over-shadowed the growing challenge of overweight and obesity in adults.

According to a survey conducted by STEPS in 2009 on cholesterol and obesity levels in Zambia, the results showed that 14.7% of men and 21.5% of women were affected by high cholesterol in fats. On the other hand, obesity levels were at 7% to 19% for men and 21.3% to 40% for women.The survey also discovered that the lack of gastric bypass surgery facilities that operate on the obese has also contributed to the increased levels in the country as some people that are morbidly obese cannot manage physical activity and gastric bypass surgery is the only option.

In addition to this obesity levels are more common in urban areas than rural areas. This is because people from rural areas are self-reliant with regards to food and as a result prefer traditional diets. The traditional food eaten by people in rural areas includes chibwabwa (pumpkin leaves) and fruits. However, once these people shift to urban areas, they begin practicing western diets and therefore shift from the production of their own food to the purchase of processed food.

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How good is this food. photograph obtained from Google.com

According to another study conducted by the Copperbelt University School of Medicine  on obesity levels among urban residents in Lusaka, the results showed that obesity levels were at 14.2% with 5.1% in males and 18.6% in females. The levels had increased due to the consumption of alcohol by both men and women. The alcohol consumed contains enormous amounts of sugars such that if no physical activity is done to burn the fat the sugar is turned into fat which accumulates the body.

Therefore, public health intervention by the health sector is important to prevent obesity. Through the creation if public policies that promote the availability and accessibility of a variety of low fat foods that are high in fibre, obesity can be conquered.  The introduction of weight loss programs such as zumba should also be promoted to encourage physical activity and fitness.

The government should take initiative and modify the agricultural systems that promote the production of healthy nutritious food for the nation. That way the health disaster of obesity can be done with and people can live healthy lives.

 

Why is poverty the worst form of violence in Zambia

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stock of maize in a rural area called Chikumba southern province zambia. Picture by Mulumbwa Luchen

Why is Zambia’s wealth unequally distributed among the wealthy, the middle-class and the poor. Why is there such a gap between those that can afford basic needs and those that cannot?. These are the questions that should be answered in order to find lasting solutions to such economic issues.

Despite the fact that Zambia is a land locked country surrounded by eight neighbouring countries, the country holds 6% of the world’s copper reserves making it the fourth largest copper producing country in the world. However, the causes of poverty in mother Zambia are many and can be divided between the internal factors and external factors.

Internal factors include diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malnutrition and Malaria. Furthermore, high inequality between women and men in various aspects of society continue to undermine the country’s ability for development. In addition to this, gender based violence and early marriages also play a role in causing poverty because most women are condemned to a life of thinking they cannot do what men do and do not have the power to enforce change. Nevertheless, with proper planning and awareness the country can be able to control these internal these factors. However, external factors are much harder to combat because social deprivation makes the poor vulnerable to external factors such as natural calamities caused by drought. The combined effects of poverty and HIV/AIDS condemn Zambia to a large population  with food shortage.

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poverty is real. photograph obtained from google. com

Therefore, the external factors cannot be controlled by the government nor the country itself as these factors are caused by for instance climate change. The effect of climate change is that other parts of the country experience drought while other experience extreme floods. The agriculture sector  continues to play an important role in Zambia because most families depend on it as a source of their income. With the recent dry weather and lack of rain the country is likely to experience drought and hunger in many parts of the country.

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The effect of this drought is that most people that depend on agriculture will not be able to have food, take their children to school as well as other needs that people are required to have. The economic crisis at the moment continues to take a toll on the economy as food prices have gone up, there high levels of unemployment as well as lack of enough maize to feed the country. The government officials, civil society organisations and the donor community are placing the blame for the country’s increasing poverty largely on poor political and economic governance as well as corruption.