Masaiti settlers ‘cry’ for farmland

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VICTORIA KASANGA writes

@SunZambian

RESIDENTS who have been resettled at Helena area to pave way for the construction of Kafulafuta dam in Masaiti district have accused Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company (KWSC) of failing to give them funds to buy land for farming.

The residents were relocated to Helena area to pave way for the construction of the Kafulafuta dam meant to supply fresh water to Ndola, Luanshya Masaiti and Mpongwe districts.

Grason Mpokota, one of the affected residents, said settlers had been failing to support their families because they had no source of income.

“Our main source of income is farming in this area but we do not have land where we can do our farming. Before we were resettled, we owned large farms and would do business well,” he said.

Mr Mpokota said  that it was unfair that the water utility company had not given them money they were promised after leaving the land on which the dam was being constructed.

Mumbi Phiri one of the residents said from the time they were located her children had stopped going to school because she could not afford school fees.

Ms Phiri said she used to own a large piece of land where she would do her farming but now she had only a small garden.

The settlers were speaking when Copperbelt Deputy Permanent Secretary Manyando Liywali went to check where the residents had been resettled.

Oscar Mwansa, another resident, said he appreciated the house built for him but that the problem was that KWSC had failed to keep the promise of giving them money to buy land for their farming.

“I have children who are supposed to go the university and have not gone because I do not have the money to pay for their education. If only I was given the money to buy land, I will work hard to ensure my children are educated,” he said.

The residents appealed KWSC to pay them the money as per promised so that they could start their agricultural activities.

And Liywali said he needed to get facts right before taking any step and that he was going to consult KWSC about the matter.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary was however satisfied with the standard of the houses that were given to the displaced farmers.

He said he will have to look at the agreement between the resettled families and KWSC before commenting.

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