By ALICE NACHILEMBE
The Civil Society Organizations Consortium on Tobacco Control in Zambia has appealed to the new government to expedite the process of enacting the tobacco control bill.
TOFAZA Communications Officer Sandra Machima said that enacting the bill should be regarded as a matter of urgency to alleviate the suffering of tobacco users and especially the young generation who are hooked into tobacco products usage.
Ms Machima said as stated in the speech the young generation must be innovative and identify local solutions to avoid engaging in tobacco usage and other illicit drugs to save lives.
She said being advocates for a tobacco- free nation the organization will support the government in its quest to ensure public health remains a priority in Zambia.
Ms Machima said the speech read during the inauguration, has given hope to all the Zambians, by stating that he will be open to new ideas, and that he will be available to listen to the people of Zambia as power belongs to them.
She said the statement was not just promising but a breather to all who mean well to the country, especially with key sectors such as Agriculture, Health and Education.
“Diversified agriculture is key to the development of the country and it is against this background that we have continued to sensitize the tobacco farmers to diversify and engage in other nutritional value crops such as beans, soybeans, sunflower and groundnuts.
“It should be noted that there is a huge loss to Zambia’s human resource and the economy in general as the country spends about K2.8billion in treating tobacco related ailments on top of which lung cancer leads, and 8000 Zambians die each year due to tobacco caused diseases, as opposed to what the Tobacco production revenue brings on the table,” she said.
The organization has also congratulated the Republican President of Zambia president Hakainde Hichilema and the Vice President Mrs Mutale Nalumango.