Rukwa, Katavi tasked to address high prevalence rates of stunting

RUKWA: THE Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Alexander Mnyeti has challenged leaders from Rukwa and Katavi regions to take deliberate actions to address high prevalence rates of stunting in their regions.

According to Mr Mnyeti, proper interventions will play a vital role in ending malnutrition in the two regions.

“Experts say that an individual should eat at least 20 kilogrammes of fish, 27 kgs of meat and drink 50 liters of milk annually,” he emphasised.

Mr Mnyeti was in two days working tour in Rukwa Region, where he handed over four modern fibre fishing boats valued over 295.5m/- to the local fishermen.

The four modern fibre fishing boats are part of a large nationwide transformational strategy targeting beneficiaries from Fishing Cooperative Organisations’ (FICOs), women and youth community groups (CBOs), individuals and companies engaged in fishing activities.

In the first phase of the project 160 boats valued 11.09bn/- will be provided to fishers across the country.  The boats come in different sizes, ranging from five (5) metres to 14 metres.

He further said despite of the two-region endowed with Lake Tanganyika and Lake Rukwa rich with various species of fish yet they are among of the regions with highest prevalence of stunting which stands at 49.8 per cent (Rukwa) and 32.2 per cent (Katavi).

“Leaders in these regions should contemplate on the situation and take appropriate actions” emphasised the deputy minister.

Equally the deputy minister has encouraged parents and guardians to provide nutritious food to their children under five years old to curb stunting.

“Concerted efforts are still needed to ensure that hundreds of stunted children in the Rukwa and Katavi regions are saved from malnutrition as the rate of stunting among children aged below five years is still high at 48.9 per cent in Rukwa and 32.3 per cent in Katavi “he explained.

Mr Mnyeti explained that Rukwa and Katavi regions have conducive weather for the production of both cash and food crops.

“Both regions have enough food varieties including rice, maize, beans and fishery resources from Lakes Tanganyika and Rukwa with numerous satellite lakes

Food availability is not a problem at all. What is needed is to educate families on the best food varieties to eat on daily basis” emphasized the deputy minister.

The Sumbawanga District Council Deputy Chairman, Mr Apolinary Macheta urged nutritionists, to intensify efforts in fighting malnutrition through different approaches.

He also urged them to continue monitoring and evaluating effectiveness of information on nutritional interventions so that appropriate measures are taken.

The regions with highest prevalence of stunting above national rate include Iringa (56.9 per cent) Njombe (50.4 per cent), Rukwa (49.8 per cent), Geita (38.6 per cent) Ruvuma (35.6 per cent), Kagera (34.3 per cent), Simiyu (33.2 per cent), Tabora (33.1 per cent), Katavi (32.2 per cent), Manyara (32 per cent), Songwe (31.9 per cent) and Mbeya (31.5 per cent).

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