Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president and leader of opposition in parliament, Lazarous Chakwera toured the devastated villages of flood-ravaged Chikwawa district in the southern region on Sunday.
Chakwera, accompanied by MCP officials, toured several places and rescue camps including Thabwa in the area of Traditional Authority Mlilima and the Sekani villages around Nchalo.
All these areas were heavily affected by the floods and the affected people are in need of help in form of shelter, food and health services.
Chakwera said the majority of victims were “really vulnerable people”.
He thanked aid agencies, international donors and Malawian groups for the “tremendous work” they have down in rescue operation, emergency aid and humanitarian support.
Chakwera said that the nation should continue showing “love and solidarity” to the victims as rescue and rebuilding process may take even longer.
“I really feel sorry for individuals who have lost their loved ones and my heartfelt condolences to their families,” said Chakwera.
He continued: “I feel very sympathetic towards the families and old people forced out of their homes. We have got to help for them to rebuild their lives.”
Chakwera advised all those involved in helping the victims not to take advantage of the situation to enrich themselves with humanitarian aid.
He said the flood had caused “devastation, lives wrecked, families ruined, and a lot of heartache”.
Chakwera then donated food which included 50 bags of maize while urging everyone to help the victims/
Christian Aid’s Malawi Country Manager, MacDuff Phiri, described the floods as “catastrophic”. He said: “The impact has been huge. The majority of people here live on less than US$1 a day, and everything they own has been washed away. It means they need to rebuild their lives, which isn’t going to be easy. Some people might be able to recover completely; others will not be able to do so. As a result, poverty levels will deepen in some areas.”
He continued: “Countries like Malawi are very susceptible to malaria. Lots of rain means more mosquitoes breeding, and more mosquitos breeding means more malaria. There is also a risk of water-borne diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea, which could kill more people than the floods themselves. That’s why one priority for Christian Aid is to distribute insecticide-treated nets and water treatment supplies to enable people to collect safe water.”
Malawi is among the world’s poorest countries and one of the most densely populated in Africa. It depends largely on agriculture, which accounts for more than a third of its GDP. However, the majority of households in the affected districts lost their food reserves in the floods.
An estimated 7,000 hectares of crops in Chikwawa and a further 8,000 hectares in Nsanje were completely destroyed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :