Govt calls for enhanced public awareness on locally regulated products


Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Paul Thole, has called for more public awareness on products which are covered by compulsory standards so that consumers are protected from unsafe products on the local market.

Thole said more should be done to educate people on regulated locally manufactured and imported products to enable the public make informed choices.

He said this in Chipata on Thursday, when a delegation from the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA) paid a courtesy call on him at his office on the sidelines of the 2024 Nc’wala traditional ceremony.

Thole said Eastern Province had seen an increase in cooperatives that were involved in food processing, hence it was important to ensure that such products are safe, reliable and of high quality.

He expressed joy that the agency was proactive in enforcing compliance on compulsory standards and appealed to the management not to relent in its mandate.

“Here in Eastern Province, we are having an increase in value addition of agro products. The World Bank is sponsoring women-driven agro-cooperatives. The women have established production centres in about four districts of Eastern province and there is need to enhance quality on these products,” he said.

Thole also urged ZCSA not to be punitive especially on upcoming food processors, adding that the agency must been seen to be guiding producers with best manufacturing practices.

He said some cooperatives in the province had started producing stock feed locally using raw materials from maize and groundnuts.

The Eastern Province Controlling Officer noted that some locally manufactured alcoholic drinks were harmful to consumers.

“We agree with what you are advocating especially when it comes to the safety of our people in terms of food products and beverages which they consume. For example, the alcohol content of the locally produced beer for example ‘Kachasu and spirits is very high. I feel for inspectors because it is a challenge for them to go and regulate the ‘Kachasu’ brewing,” he said.

Read More: Zambia Standards Agency says non-compliant businesses to face stiffer penalties (video)

Thole also expressed concern that some people were currently having strange diseases after wearing second undergarments.

He said although some people had resisted the agency’s stance on used undergarments, there was need to find ways of amicably resolving the problem.

Earlier, Head of Communications, Brian Hatyoka, said the agency was currently exhibiting at the 2024 Ncwala traditional ceremony in Mtenguleni village, Chipata.

Hatyoka said the agency would host roadshow in Chipata aimed at educating the public on dangers of embracing unregulated potable spirits and health risks associated with wearing of used undergarments.

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