Karonga has become a living hell for her citizens following a painful raise in maize prices from about K6 000 per K50 kilogram bag to K13 500 – a development that has been described as “disaster.”
The raise has come amid assurances from the government that the country has in its reserves enough food in stock to last until the next harvesting season – around April.
On the contrary, people in Karonga have literally no food; and, according to those that spoke to Nyasa Times they have “resorted to natural vegetables” instead of staple nsima or rice.
Senior Chief of Wasambo of Karonga disclosed that most of his subjects “especially those whose pockets cannot afford to buy maize to from vendors are surviving on Bonongwe (Amaranthus/Bonongwe) and mushrooms.”
Said Wasambo: “Hunger is indeed biting. And this is because of shortage of maize in our ADMARC depots.”
Nyasa Times understands that for weeks now the ADMARC depot in the district has been non-operational. There is reportedly no maize.
Karonga district council vice chairperson, Ernest Mwalughali, has since asked stakeholders to take immediate action.
He said all depots had been closed “for no reason and without explanation.”
Vincent Ghambi, Member of Parliament (MP) for Karonga North and deputy education minister, much as admitting the problem was quick to say that the problem was transportation to get the maize to the depots.
“Our ADMARC depots are really empty but this doesn’t mean that the country has no maize.
“I’ve been talking to ADMARC officials at the headquarters and they have told me that the problem is transport,” said Ghambi.
Over 2.8 million Malawian are food insecure currently, according to the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) but the threat of El Nino which is hitting southern Africa has heightened fears that many more will join the long list in need of food aid.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :