9 July 2013

Zambia: Peace Corps Warned Over Drugs

UNITED States (US) Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) director of programmes and training for Zambia Lauren Mamane has warned that the service will not condone indiscipline by some peace corps undertaking their duties in communities.

Mr Mamane said the policy of the organisation prohibited volunteers and trainees from involving themselves in any illegal drug use.

Recently, a US volunteer, who was based in Chadiza, was deported after being found in possession of cannabis.

"As it was reported in the Press, there was a PCV who was arrested for marijuana possession and she was immediately sent home.

"The Peace Corps does not condone such behaviour," Mr Mamane said.

The director said in a Press query response that currently, PCV Zambia was the largest Peace Corps Programme in Africa with 300 volunteers serving in Eastern, Central, Luapula, Northern, North-Western, Western, Southern and Lusaka provinces.

Mr Mamane said PCV Zambia had a dynamic and robust programme.pf

He said in February 1992, second Republican President Frederick Chiluba requested that Peace Corps open a programme in Zambia.

He said former US president George W. Bush responded and an agreement between the two governments was signed on September 14, 1993.

Mr Mamane said since then, 1,154 volunteers had completed their service in Zambia.

He said current Peace Corps projects were rural aquaculture promotion, community health improvement, rural education development and linking income food and the environment.

"In addition to their primary project assignment every volunteer is trained to engage in HIV/AIDS awareness, malaria prevention, and food security activities," Mr Mamane said.

He said the purpose of the rural aquaculture promotion project was to help rural families and groups address their livelihood needs through fish farming.

He said the goals were also part of improving nutrition, income and food security through increased production of fish, and integrated agricultural products.

"This project also strengthens the organisational capacity of fish farming groups to address their members' needs," he said.

Mr Mamane said the rural education development project supported the Ministry of Education's goals for the vision 2030.

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