The Zambia Red Cross Society (ZRCS) has embarked on the validation of beneficiaries enrolled onto its three months emergency cash based intervention amounting to K6 Million.

ZRCS Communications and Public Relations Manager, Esther Phiri said 4,000 most vulnerable beneficiaries were being validated in order for each household to receive a monthly allocation of K500 electronic cash transfer.

Speaking when she paid a courtesy call on Kalabo District Commissioner, Fridah Luhila, Ms Phiri explained that the electronic cash transfer caters for livelihood and basic needs on a monthly basis.

She said the relief response programme aimed at cushioning the hunger situation targets the elderly, physically challenged, chronically ill, child-headed and female headed households identified from 11 out of 20 wards of Kalabo district.

She said the number of beneficiaries has been increased to 4,000 from 3,000 as previously proposed while the amount of cash relief has also been increased from K400 to K500 per month.

Ms Phiri said saving lives forms the core mandate of Zambia Red Cross Society and that the relief organisation has repositioned itself to tackle any likelihood of climate induced impacts on households.

The Communications and Public Relations Manager said her organisation is happy to work with the Zambian Government, Community Welfare Assistant Committees (CWACs) and relief distribution satellite volunteers in order to make the relief programme a success.

And Kalabo District Commissioner, Fridah Luhila has applauded the gesture by the Zambia Red Cross Society to supplement government efforts in providing relief aid to affected households.

Mrs Luhila said the 4,000 target beneficiaries comprise about 20 percent of the total number of households in Kalabo which were affected by food insecurity due to poor harvest.

She attributed the poor harvest to the worst drought in 30 years with about 90 percent crop failure having been recorded in the district during the 2018-2019 farming season.

She has since implored beneficiaries to venture into smart agriculture and winter farming once supplied with climate sensitive seed, saying the district is highly endowed with lakes, rivers and other water resources.

Earlier, ZRCS Disaster Management Officer Wina Wina said the relief programme also includes the provision of a once off variety of climate sensitive crop seed and inputs in order to enable affected households reduce their vulnerability this year.

Mr Wina further said Zambia Red Cross Society would in future also consider introducing aquaculture projects in the area in order to promote integrated farming and reduce fishing pressure off the capture fisheries.

And ZRCS Branch Development Manager, Fortune Muloongo said his organisation would also recruit skilled and professional volunteers in order to inculcate high levels of sustainability and enhance climate resilience and adaptation.

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