Filling stations reluctant to reduce fuel prices

Some filling stations have shown reluctance to reduce prices of fuel as announced by ERB, the Energy Regulation Board.

ERB Senior Manager for Consumer and Public Affairs, Fred Hang’andu has confirmed this to Breeze News.

Mr. Hang’andu says that ERB has received a number of complaints from consumers, who were either turned away because some service stations were not selling fuel or made to but fuel at old prices.

He says that this has forced ERB to undertake random inspections to ensure that all filling stations countrywide adhere to the revised fuel prices that took effect at mid-night on August 7th.

Mr. Hangándu has noted that service stations which have not yet effected price reductions are liable to enforcement action.

He says that the affected Oil Marketing Companies OMCs will be summoned for hearings soon.

Staff deployed to new Chipata District Hospital

Government, through the Ministry of Health, has started sending health workers to the newly constructed Chipata District Hospital.

Eastern Province Health Director, Abel Kabalo, says this is because phase one of construction works at the hospital is almost complete.

Dr. Kabalo says ZESCO, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation, has already connected electricity to the hospital.
He says that what has remained is external works of landscaping.

He says a request has been sent to the Ministry of Health head office in Lusaka, to supply equipment, in readiness for the commissioning of the health facility.

Dr. Kabalo says government has released an initial advance payment of seven million kwacha for phase two of the construction works.

He says a Chinese contractor, Sanshare is already on site.
He says that the total cost of phase two is about 33 million Kwacha.

And Dr. Kabalo revealed that the district hospital being constructed in Petauke will be the biggest hospital in the province.

He says the hospital, will surpass Chipata Central Hospital in terms of size.

Government addressing rural hardship allowance

The Ministry of Education in Eastern Province says it is in the process of addressing issues affecting teachers, who are not getting rural hardship allowances.

Provincial Education Officer Allan Lingambe says district offices are currently addressing the matter, which has affected a number of teachers in the province.

Dr. Lingambe’s comment comes after complaints by some teachers in remote areas, that they are not getting the rural hardship allowances.

He says the challenge of some teachers not getting rural hardship allowances is connected to the mistakes made by the Ministry of Lands, during the mappings of schools, which was conducted some years ago.

Dr. Lingambe says some schools where captured as being in urban areas when they are located in remote areas.

He says a re-mapping exercise has to be done to correct the situation, but that a local solution is being done to quickly look into the matter.

The PEO says the Ministry of Education has started the process of swapping codes for the schools that are not illegible to be getting rural hardship allowances, to those who are eligible but are not getting the money.

He says this has already been done in some schools in the province.

About 1,000 dog bites reported in Eastern Province

Eastern Province has reported 996 dog bites out of which seven deaths have been recorded between January and August this year.

Provincial Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo is concerned with the increased number of dog bites and deaths related to rabies as the region last year recorded 288 cases of dog bites and five deaths.

Speaking at the Provincial Epidemic Preparedness meeting in Chipata, Mr. Kasolo says that the problem has existed for a long time and emphasized on the need to find a solution.

He stated that although some districts are making progress in reducing the problem, more needs to be done to eliminate rabies.

The Permanent Secretary directed all districts Anti Rabies Taskforces to provide reports and tangible solutions on the issue of reducing dog bites and rabies in the province.

Meanwhile, Mr Kasolo has observed that the province has seen a reduction in cases of street vendors.

He stated that although street vending is still high in some
districts, some districts are making headways in eradicating it.

Mr. Kasolo pointed out Chipata and Petauke as some of the districts that are making practical efforts to curb the vice.