Petauke polio survivor sustained by peasant farming

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A 52-YEAR- OLD polio survivor has urged government to invest more in agriculture development.

Moshi Ng’uni, a resident of Simambumbu village in senior chief Kalindawalo’s area, feeds his family through farming.

Ng’uni said he was born as a normal child with strong legs until he was diagnosed with polio which stunted his legs and left them paralysed.

According to health experts, polio is a highly contagious viral infection that causes paralysis, breathing problems and may be fatal.

The virus is said to be preventable by a polio vaccine but Ng’uni said at the time, he had no access to the vaccine.

Ng’uni has been in marriage with Grace for 20 years and the couple have six children.

“I was born in 1970 in Luanshya but we relocated to this place when I was still a baby. My parents told me that I was born as a normal child but in 1972 at the age of two, there was a reported disease that affected children called polio. I was diagnosed with polio and chickenpox that left me with one eye and stunted my growth on my legs,” Ng’uni narrates.

“I am married with six children. I have been married for 20 years now. I have three children who are in school while the other two are grade nine dropouts and it’s only one who has finished up to grade 12. I would like my child to
go to college but I do not have the means.”

He appeals to well-wishers to help him with a wheelchair.

Ng’uni says he has been having difficulties walking to the farm whenever it is raining.

“I do have challenges to walk. As you can see, I do not have a wheelchair. I just crawl even in the mud when we have heavy downpour,” he explains further. “I would be grateful if anyone can be found to help me with my movement. I need a wheelchair, also to help me in any way that they can manage. I can manage to sell in a small shop if assisted.”

Asked how he survives with six children and a wife, Ng’uni says he depends largely on subsistence farming.

“I am a farmer. I do have four hectares of maize. We eat what we cultivate in this village. Last year I produced 10 loads of oxcarts of maize. I also keep more than 30 village chickens for sale. I have one pig. Don’t just look at me, I cultivate with these same hands that God has given me,” says Ng’uni.

“I know I don’t have the legs but you will be surprised if you look at my maize field. Farming feeds my family. Government needs to invest more for farming to be sustainable.”

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