By STEVEN ZANDE –
FIRST Lady Esther Lungu has called on corporate bodies and stakeholders to support the underprivileged in communities to help protect them against vices such as early marriages and sexually transmitted diseases.
Ms Lungu said there was need for concerted efforts to protect orphans, widows and persons with disabilities to help them cope with life’s challenges that often resulted in unplanned pregnancies, early marriages and diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
She said this in Chunga Township yesterday when Standard Chartered Bank in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Zambia financed the construction of a house for a vulnerable family.
“This complements Government’s efforts of reducing extreme poverty and moving towards attainment of Zambia’s Vision 2030, which is to become a middle-income nation.
“That is why what we are seeing here warms my heart. What you are doing today and what you have been doing over the years is a reflection of true patriotism,” Ms Lungu said.
She said Habitat for Humanity’s efforts in constructing housing units for the disadvantaged in society were important to addressing rampart poverty in communities.
Ms Lungu praised Standard Chartered Bank for its 110 years of existence in Zambia, thereby contributing to the social and economic development of the country.
Mary Namfukwe, a 30-year-old widow of Lusaka’s Chunga Township who has two children, had been living in a ramshackle and was reported on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) where the First Lady noticed her plight.
The First Lady then commended her name to Habitat for Humanity for construction of a house valued at K40,590 and financed by Standard Chartered Bank.
Ms Lungu donated an assortment of household items to Ms Namfukwe, among them, two beds and mattresses, a sofa, a coffee table and a variety of food items.
Matero Constituency Member of Parliament Lloyd Kazhiya who donated K2,000 to Ms Namfukwe praised the stakeholders for helping her meet the accommodation challenge.
Lusaka Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe appealed to other companies to come on board in helping improve living conditions among the poor in society and he combined with Ms Lungu to donate K2,500 to the family.
Standard Chartered Bank chief executive officer Andrew Okai called on Zambians to help each other so that the country could achieve more prosperity.
“That is why we thought it befitting that as we commemorate 110 years in Zambia, we use this occasion to give the gift of a decent shelter to Ms Nanyangwe so that she raises her family and own an asset,” Mr Okai said.