By JOHN CHOLA
Barrick Lumwana Mine has celebrated this year’s World Food Day by sharing food stuffs with the vulnerable local community groupings including orphans, widows, physically challenged and the aged.
Marking the World Food Day which fell on Saturday October 16, Barrick Lumwana shared in excess of 4000 x 25kg bags of mealie meal and over 4000 x 2.5 litres cooking oil to members of the community, its employees and on-site contractors.
Barrick Lumwana General Manager Paul Gillot handed over the items to persons from the communities surrounding the mine.
At the commemoration held at the Lumwana Mine compound, Gillot noted that with the theme Our Actions Are Our Future—Better Production, Better Nutrition, A Better Environment And A Better Life, World Food Day 2021 was an important occasion for his organization.
“Barrick Lumwana lives everyday by embedding environmental, social and economic considerations into all our business decision-making, through partnerships with host governments, community, and contractors by respectfully engaging with them. Our vision is to create long-term value through initiatives in agribusiness, health, education, water and sanitation and local economic development. Today’s occasion is testimony to that!”
Gillot said World food Day was not only about celebrating the amazing food that people get to eat every day, but to also spread awareness about those who struggle to get even one meal in a day.
He noted that most of the themes for the day over the years revolved around agriculture and investment in the sector to increase production. Investment in agriculture, along with education and health in a country like Zambia, can help in turning around hunger.
“However, despite knowing the fact that agriculture needs investment, the sector has been starving for both public and private investments,” Gillot lamented.
Gillot said the food human beings choose and the way they consume it affected their health and that of the planet.
“It has an impact on the way agri-food systems work. The United Nations is launching bold new actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food, with an aim to get back on track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We all need to be part of the change in the same manner we need to be proactive in protecting our planet, our wildlife, our people and reduce wastage and conserve energy.”
World Food day promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger, and highlights the need to ensure healthy diets for all.
Whilst the 2021 World Food Day was being commemorated, countries around the world were still dealing with the widespread effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Gillot said it was time to look into the future and ensure everyone is vaccinated in the spirit of building together.
Gillot also thanked Mutanda Farms in Mumena Chiefdom which provided Barrick with improved commercials and logistics to be able to issue the foods to beneficiaries including onsite contractors and local vulnerable community groupings.
And in his vote of thanks, Aventech Contractors’ General Manager Joseph Kapira said the solutions to local community challenges, did not lie elsewhere but within every one and among organizations operating within Lumwana area.
“It is said that ‘those who offer selfless service to the community, are the builders of the community and pride of their race and breed’. People like you are difficult to find who always show their care and support for others. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, and your donation has made it that much easier to get things done and thrust us forward. This act of kindness will always be appreciated,” said Kapira.