Malawi’s Vice President Khumbo Kachali has called upon the business community and NGOs in Karonga district to assist flood victims, saying government’s intervention alone cannot suffice to solve peoples’ problems.
“There are so many companies in Karonga and they should show that they care by assisting people who have been affected by floods. These companies have been given land and they work here. I have not mentioned the companies here but you know them yourselves,” Kachali said.
Severe floods in the early hours of Wednesday affected 4075 people in the area of Traditional Authority Kilupula and Kyungu in Karonga district following the burst of Lufilya River consequently causing severe floods that have destroyed maize and rice fields apart from destroying 829 homes, six cows and assorted household property.
About 16 villages have been affected, according to a preliminary assessment the DC’s office has conducted.
Some of the affected villages are Mwenitete, Mwaulambo, Ngerenge, Gweleweta, Mweniwisi, Mwanjasi, Msomba, Mwangomba, Mbwiri mwangwera, Mwaulambo, Mwakasangila, Mwakusa, Mwetende and Katumbi villages.
The Veep made the plea at Kibwe Full Primary School in Karonga district after he had toured flood hit areas.
Kachali also donated 300 bags of maize, blankets, plastics cup, plastic pails, plastics plates, beans and salt.
“Please ensure that these relief items go to real victims. Do not give to your friends or relatives,” he said.
In a thinly veiled attack on Australian Miner Paladin Energy Limited, operator of the Kayerekera Uranium Mine in the district, Kachali praised Illovo Sugar Company for acting swiftly each time there are floods in the lower shire.
In recent months Paladin has come under attack by people of Karonga who accuse the company of backtracking on its corporate social responsibility. But the company insists that it has so far spent MK5 billion on the same.
“Even before government came in Illovo donated MK4 million to the district authorities to assist people. We want the same to happen here in Karonga district. This problem is for all of us,” he said.
Only Eland Coal Mining Company has so far came to the rescue by donating assorted items worth MK400,000.
“We will still do some more depending on the needs assessment from the District Commissioner’s office,” the company’s Head of Sales and Marketing Mayamiko Mwinjilo told Nyasa Times.
The Vice president also said government will assist the affected people with farm inputs so that they replant again.
Speaking earlier Paramount Chief Kyungu asked the people not to sell the relief items and spend the money on booze.
“When you sell these things tomorrow you will again complain that government has not assisted you. Please think of your problems,” he said.
Karonga North MP Victor Ghambi (DPP) asked district authorities to distribute the relief items to all affected people regardless of political affiliation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :