DPP MP says Malawi hunger no longer looming but a reality: ‘People eating water lilies’

As Malawi elected leaders and others are lavishing course after course of meals, a law maker for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Dr Chidanti Malunga has drawn the attention of parliament that there is  a food crisis and millions of Malawian now cannot afford a decent meal.

DPP MP Malunga: Malawians are starving

DPP MP Malunga: Malawians are starving

Malunga who is MP  for Nsanje South West, told parliament this week that people in his constituency and other parts of the country are starving.

“For more than three months now, we in this House have been talking about looming hunger in the country. I am afraid, Mr Second Deputy Speaker, Sir, that in Nsanje South West, the situation is very scary. Hunger is no longer looming. It is a reality, and there is hunger now,” said Malunga.

Malunga told the House that he visited villages in his constituency and found” appalling and pathetic” levels of suffering of the people.

“I found some people eating water lilies. Water lily is an aquatic plant scientifically known as Nymphaea Odorata locally known as Nyika. For those of you who do not know, I have carried some and I would like the cameras to show this,” said Malunga.

He showed Nyika, a water lily to the House, saying “these are the roots.”

“It is very sad that some Malawians will have to eat this, while others are enjoying elsewhere,” lamented the parliamentarian.

He said for the entire weekend that he visited his constituency; there is no maize at any of the two ADMARC markets that serve area.

He asked for information “if there is anyone in this House who can truthfully stand up and tell us, the people of Nsanje South West, where we are exactly with the maize purchase. We need to know.”

Malunga continued: “One may ask why has the situation in Nsanje South West changed from looming to reality, quicker than the rest of the [flood] disaster areas?”

He explained that Nsanje South West is made up of two ecological zones, the aquatic zone, which accounts for about 40 per cent of the constituency and where it is prone to flooding and the terrestrial zone accounting for about 60 per cent of the constituency, where it is prone to drought.

Malunga said both of the zones are subject to agricultural activities, which under normal circumstances complement each other in a year but the 2015 season, the situation was different as both zones were hit by natural disasters.

“There was flooding in the aquatic zone and drought in the terrestrial zone, consequently, leading to serious food shortage,” he noted

“For example, maize that is largely grown in the transition areas between the aquatic zone and the terrestrial zone had reduced in yield by about 38 per cent in May, 2015, compared to the same period last year.

“Millet, largely grown in the terrestrial areas, has been reduced by 58 per cent under the same comparison,” he said, calling the figures “alarming.”

Malunga stressed that Nsanje South West is one of the areas requiring immediate food assistance.

“My appeal to government is to ask if they can respond to the situation as soon as possible.”

Commenting on the issue, Leader of the House Francis Kasaila said the country has enough maize to keep it going through the lean period.

He said there is “enough grain reserves in our storage facilities [at Kanengo in Lilongwe].”

But his statement attracted interjection as the Leader of Peoples Party (PP) in the House, Uladi Mussa stood on a point of order.

Mussa, who is MP for Salima South said Kasaila was “out of order” to say that maize is available at Kanengo, yet people are suffering in Nsanje.

“For maize to be at Kanengo is one thing; and for that maize to be available to the people who are suffering is another,” said Mussa.

Kasaila then said: “in far as the information that I have as a Minister is that we have enough grain in our reserves. What is the problem here? In the opinion of government it is that there is a lack of coordination. As leaders, if we know that there is a problem in our constituencies, let us take it upon ourselves to consult the relevant ministries so that we are assisted.”

He advised Malunga that “information has been taken care of and maize will be made available to Nsanje South West. “

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vavlov
Guest

The entire SADC experienced drought this year; therefore, if the government of Malawi hasn’t sourced food, famine in the country will will make the country ungovernable. It would be foolhardy for DPP to ignore the issue of famine in Malawi

Chingaipe
Guest

Where are the Joyce Banda printed maize bads which were filled with “rotten” maize? Mbava za ma politician…..mulibe manyazi as you do it!

burnettie
Guest

food for thought:there is hunger people are eating water lillies or people are buying abag of maize at k9800 or people eat nothing at all going to bed on empty stomach.inuyo muli ndi mareserve ku kanengo mukanatumiza kuti?

Tepsyliam Tepsy
Guest

Not only nsanje its countrywide people in rural are starving imagine this month people are getting a bag of maize k9,800.govt should act.

Nivindele
Guest

Kunsanje amakonda nyika ndikale. Apo ayi bambaya. Kumadya maliseche alipantunda, Ameneyo Nde mtchenambo. Wa!

C2K
Guest
Since Kamuzu’s reign there’s no any company or factory being opened in Malawi, all we hear is the disappearence of govmnt money why are u still killing our beautifull Malawi and how many people will rely on business affirmations. Too much greedy on our Leaders if u are failing to run this small country plz many people will be living outside malawi to look for green pastures inorder to accomplish their dreams. How ca n you manage to drive expensive cars in a road full of pot holes and many people living in poverty? To all those who take themselvses… Read more »
kapalamula
Guest

vuto kuti lithe tiphasule cabnet yonse kulowesa oti sanapangepo ndale thn zinthu zizasintha vuto aliyese akalowa mpaliament amatengera zazake ndiye vuto la copywrite Ndilimene tikulionanoli. Ndango dusa nkhwani ba thyolani

Bandawe
Guest

No no no. Nobody will die of hunger. We are a filthy rich country we cannot be talking about poverty and hunger we have plenty maize ( sitting in silos) and sound policies ( on paper). And please journalist don’t print this we need to show a rosy picture to the world. We can’t tell the truth……… That is a no no. Just tell the world that the water lilies are a delicacy and we are one big happy family and everything is alright!!!!!…….my foot!!!

anthony kawinga
Guest

its all that we elected wrong leaders on our own. sometimeswe have to change that tendency of electing those already tried and failed. there is people with visionary leadership out there but we ignore them. lets learn and change our country together. why killing our own mother land??

Chidongo j
Guest
Anthu akumeneko ndiye ndi anzerudi chifukwa anavotera munthudi wanzeru namateture osati ma MP anewa cabichi weni weni. Inu a Pitala ndi a Chilima mwamuona munthu woyenera u minisitala wa Agriculture mukaphwasula cabinet yanu. Mwaonanso nokha mmene a Malawi tamunyadirira. Ndipo akanakhala 5 okha oganiza chonchi mu DPP anthu sitikudandaula nanu. Dera limenero simufunikanso kampeni anthu ake ndi anzeru kale ali ndi munthu wodalirika kale. Munthu walipota tumizani chimanga mawa anthu akufa ndi njala kumeneko chitani muja munapangira ndi zonofobia muja munathamanga kukawatenga a Malawi ndi chimodzimodzi di anthu amenewo kaye kaye kuti ali kumudzi kokuno. Iwe kutsaira osangotidi chimanga chiliko… Read more »
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