Musenge Mourns Kitwe Quarry Victims

GOVERNMENT is sad at the tragic death of a woman and her daughter who were buried alive in a trench they were excavating stones for crushing in Kitwe.

Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge regretted the death of the two women and called for the scaling up of the women empowerment programme to help prevent their involvement in risky activities such as illegal quarrying of stones and sand.

Priscah Kaluba, 34, and her 18-year-old daughter, Ireen, of 1242 Racecourse Township died on Tuesday while digging out stones in a trench more than 10 metres deep when in the process, it caved in and

buried them alive.

The minister, who is Chimwemwe Constituency Member of Parliament (MP) under which Racecourse falls, said he was heart-broken over the women’s tragic death while trying to earn a living.

Mr Musenge was particularly concerned that the majority of people engaging in hazardous business ventures such as illegal quarrying were women.

He said there was need to help find alternative sources of income for vulnerable women to engage in that posed less or no threat on their lives.

Meanwhile, Gender and Child Development Permanent Secretary, Daisy Ng’ambi has called for more efforts and resources in the investment and promotion of economic empowerment of women.

Ms Ng’ambi said in the next fifty years, women’s economic empowerment must be a catalyst for national development.

She said a lot should be done better in terms of gender equality, gender inclusiveness, women’s rights and access to equal opportunities as they were prerequisites for development.

She was speaking at a media training workshop in preparation of the US$80 000 National Women’s Economic Empowerment Jubilee Expo and Rural Employment Strategy scheduled for next month.

The Expo, which will attract 400 women and young women mostly from the rural areas, will comprise of different training programmes in business management for women and will also assist young female entreprenuers to show case their talent.

She said women were ready, able and willing to contribute to moving the country’s development agenda forward.

She challenged the media to report on positive issues about women in order to build a positive image about females as opposed to negative reporting of women.

Deputy Bank of Zambia Governor Tukiya Mabula said inclusion of women and equal opportunities would positively contribute to economic development as this would empower the nation.

ILO representative Tapera Muzira said the role of African women in realising and sustaining Africa’s economic potential was cardinal.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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