Kapiri Mposhi Receives Hope Amid Despair as Anti-GBV Centre is Launched to Curb Growing GBV Cases

Launch of an Anti-GBV One Stop Centre in Kapiri Mposhi

April 5, 2024

Francis Hasalama, Kapiri Mposhi District Commissioner flanked by Stakeholders as he Officially Launches Mukonchi Anti-GBV Community One Stop Centre

UNDP/Cecilia Mubambe

Known for its agricultural production with commercial farmers growing wheat, maize, tomato and soya beans, Kapiri Mposhi, is not only a hive of activities contributing to the national food basket but is slowly slipping into an infamous district of gruesome Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and related scourges. 

 In 2023, Zambia Police Service (ZPS) recorded at least 42,965 cases of GBV countrywide with at least 11 percent of these cases found in Kapiri Mposhi district. In terms of gender vulnerability, a total of 32,558 females and 10,407 males were abused countrywide.  

Notwithstanding, on 11th March 2024, it was with abated breath and excitement, that the community of Kapiri Mposhi, welcomed the launch of the Anti-GBV Community Development One Stop Centre which is intended to provide a wide range of anti-GBV services such as medical first aidbasic health support, economic empowerment, basic legal aid and information on healthcare in a bid to contribute towards curbing the growing number of GBV cases in the district. With support from the Governments of Ireland and Sweden, the Centre is part of the broader GRZ-UN Joint Programme Against GBV, Phase II. 

Josephine Haangoba Liwakala, a beneficiary of the multi-purpose Centre, designed to support the provision of comprehensive assistance to survivors, gave a resounding appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) for making the Centre a reality where women and girls can easily access services on GBV and economic empowerment. 

“Through the programme, my husband supported my decision of going back to school I am currently in grade 11 at Brunery secondary. I am now an inspiration in my community,” she said.  

And UNDP Resident Representative James Wakiaga applauded the collaborative efforts and emphasized the pivotal role of traditional leaders and community engagement in fostering inclusive development. UNDP National Economist Ms Elda Chirwa spoke on Mr Wakiaga’s behalf and highlighted the indispensable role of traditional leaders in modelling societal norms and promoting gender equality, the unwavering commitment, alongside that of other stakeholders, is instrumental in realizing the project's objectives. 

“Today marks a significant milestone in our collective efforts to combat gender-based violence and foster inclusive development. The launch of the Munkonchi VLOSC underscores the crucial role of traditional leaders and community engagement in driving tangible change,” he said.

Recognizing the significant role of traditional leaders in the fight against GBV and early marriages, Kapiri Mposhi District Commissioner Francis Hasalama highlighted Zambia's current trend of heightened progressive approaches to anti-GBV programmes led by traditional leaders nationwide. This shift towards a zero-tolerance stance on GBV and early marriages in most chiefdoms reflects the commitment of traditional leadership to a progressive future.

 “In acknowledging the vital contribution of traditional leaders in combatting GBV and early marriages, it's crucial to recognize Zambia's evolving landscape of anti-GBV initiatives led by these esteemed figures. The increasing adoption of progressive approaches across chiefdoms signals a significant shift towards a zero-tolerance stance on GBV and early marriages.,” he said. 

During the launch, Kapiri Mposhi district commissioner Francis Hasalama addressed the audience, highlighting the challenges contributing to the high incidence of GBV cases in communities. He emphasized the low levels of awareness regarding survivors' rights, coupled with the lack of access to legal and psychological services for GBV survivors. 

Mr. Hasalama pointed out that many GBV cases go unreported due to these factors and that to address this issue, the prevention component of the joint GBV program includes community engagements, particularly with traditional leaders, and community dialogues. These efforts aim to tackle social and cultural norms that exacerbate gender-based violence. 

Under Phase 2, GRZ-UN Joint Programme Against GBV, Phase II has established five VLOSCs across Eastern, Lusaka, and Central Provinces. This expansion reflects a collective commitment to decentralizing GBV prevention and response mechanisms. 

Furthermore, Mr Wakiaga extended gratitude to supporting UN agencies, Government partners, and Cooperating Partners like Sweden and Ireland, whose contributions have been instrumental in advancing the GBV agenda and reiterated UNDP's steadfast commitment to translating policy frameworks into tangible actions, emphasizing the importance of implementation in effecting meaningful change. He expressed optimism that through continued collaboration, the project would yield transformative results in the fight against GBV.