Malawi leader visits flood victims, elevates T/A Chiwalo

A recepient of relief items greets the President

A recepient of relief items greets the President

Perennial flash floods hit Phalombe, a district in Southern Malawi on the foot of Mulanje Mountain and this year, about 6,500 households have been affected prompting President Joyce Banda to visit some of the affected families on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

Speaking at Lihaka Primary School Ground in the area of Traditional Chief Chiwalo in the district, the Head of State said she went there to console the affected people and assure them her administration will ensure their livelihood is normalized. She reiterated government will build new houses for those whose houses were swept away.

“Government is continuing to provide relief interventions and implementing disaster preparedness programmes to assist disaster-impacted communities across the country. The nation is experiencing increased number of disasters including floods, hailstorms and dry spells because of climate change and heavy rains,” said Banda.

The Malawi leader said have caused damage to property, road infrastructure and crops in a number of districts and many households have been affected.

“We have experienced these incidences in Karonga, Nkhata-Bay, Salima, Dedza, the Lower Shire and here in Phalombe, among others,” observed the President, adding that there is a plan being put in place to address the flood hazard situation in a harmonious and integrated manner and help reduce the impact of these disasters including loss of property and lives.

The President said the Department of Disaster Management Affairs has been providing relief assistance, which includes food and non-food items to the affected households. She thanked other stakeholders—NGOs, the private sector, UN agencies and individuals—for complimenting government’s effort by providing additional relief assistance to the affected people.

She appealed to people living in flood-prone areas to move to upland areas quickly to avoid loss of life, and where necessary resettle in flood-prone free areas.

During the visit, government donated 600 (50kg) bags of maize; 60 (50kg) bags of beans; 30 (20kg) bags of salt; 1,200 blankets; 600 plastic pails; 2,400 plastic plates; and 3,000 plastic cups. The President personally donated 1000 bags of fertilizer and maize seed to help the people undertake winter cropping.

“I have noted that crops in the gardens of some of the affected people were damaged. There is, therefore, need to assist those who have access to wetlands with seeds and fertilizers so that they can be able to plant during winter crop,” she said.

T/A Chiwalo elevated

The President later announced the elevation of Traditional Authority Chiwalo to Senior Traditional Authority.

She said the T/A became such in 1997 and has not been promoted since “because of his frankness when dealing with politicians, which politicians don’t like”.

“He has been a victim of his own frank approach to issues; he doesn’t believe in painting a rosy picture where there is none,” explained the President, emphasizing the Chief deserved a promotion owing to his hard working spirit.

The District Commissioner Charles Makanga greets President Banda

The District Commissioner Charles Makanga greets President Banda

JB consoles one of the flood victims before giving her a bag of maize and blankets and a pail

JB consoles one of the flood victims before giving her a bag of maize and blankets and a pail

Senior Chief Chiwalo poses with the President after being elevated

Senior Chief Chiwalo poses with the President after being elevated

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