Floods and their aftermath have been the domineering subject during the past month. But what are we planning to do beyond the floods?
President Peter Mutharika and his trusty deputy, Saulos Chilima, have done all they could to rise above the floods and galvanise the nation and the international community to come to the rescue of the affected people.
I must say they have done a great job and the response has been massive.
At the latest count we are talking of over 200,000 people displaced, 176 confirmed dead and up to 160 still missing. The figures could still rise as the weathermen (and women) predict more deluge.
Last week we discussed the probable – if not the unavoidable – causes of the disaster.
But in the emergency situation we have over-looked the one crucial aspect: what next after the floods.
Of course, there is the usual relocation question that needs political will.
But do we know that, after we count the cost of the disaster in lives and property, we are likely to face critical food shortages this year?
Obviously most of the fertiliser – subsidised or commercial – we applied to our crops has been washed away. And we have no time to replant for, after the latest rain-storms and heavy rains the weather-man (woman, this time around) predicted for last week going into this week may be the end of the rainy season.
Obviously, we will not harvest enough to feed ourselves until the next harvest.
So what are we doing?
The leadership Peter and Saulos have shown in the wake of the floods must not end after the Lower Shire plains have dried up or Mangochi has learnt the boundary of the lake or Blantyre has learnt we are not supposed to have flash-floods in the city.
The immediate issue is that more than half Malawians will not have the food they need to have after the harvest. Before we downgrade the emergency alert from ‘Red’ to ‘Orange’, therefore, let us make sure we have contingency plans how to feed the potentially hungry citizens.
Then we can, as a nation, discuss how to permanently try to avert further disasters. They call it having priorities right.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :