UN boss in Zambia worried about extreme poverty in villages

By Moses Ngoma

United Nations Coordinator Kanni Wignaraja says the planning and budgeting has to be intentionally favoring the rural areas to balance human development between rural and urban areas.

Briefing chipata journalists yesterday at Protea Hotel upon her arrival from Lundazi district Ms Wignaraja says it was sad to see the gap of human development widen as she travelled further away from the urban into rural areas.

She said it was time human development was focused on rural areas to rebalance the equation.

The UN Coordinator who has been in Eastern province since Wednesday says development has been biased towards the urban set up for too long.

On media, Ms Wignaraja said the media in Zambia has a big role in issues relating to decentralization and the constitutional reforms.

She said the media should be responsible enough to highlight critical issues to the public to improve human development especially on decentralization and the electoral system.

On the area of education she said there has been an attempt to build back basic school infrastructure and even the upgrading of community schools into basic schools.

She said it is a good trend for both community and basic schools to open up to pre-school so that early learning can take place.

The UN Coordinator says early learning is a key start to ensuring that every child is given an equal start to education.

Ms Wignaraja said it is also sad to see children coming out of basic schools and yet there are no enough places into secondary schools.

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