Paramount Ngoni chief M’mbelwa of Mzimba district has called on government and all well-wishers to extend their support to his subjects. Hundreds of families were hit last week by a hailstorm in the vast northern region district.
Of the six villages under Edingeni, Kalitubi has been most hit.
Speaking from his headquarters at Edingeni, Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa said he was saddened by the suffering his people were going through and the pace at which relief support would be seen to be coming in.
“I am concerned that many people across Malawi are suffering due to the natural disasters and more especially heavy rains. I want to call upon authorities, civil society groups, and all well-wishers to also look at other places where people have equally been displaced,” he said.
District Commissioner for M’mbelwa Council, Thomas Chirwa confirmed on Friday that a hailstorm hit six villages under Headman Kambewa and that people are yet to get any assistance.
“The affected are sheltering in school and church structures and are in need of maize, cooking flour, clothes and other relief items including tents. Eight people have since been injured and one person is admitted at Edingeni Rural Hospital. The rest have been treated as out-patients,” he said adding that the Department of Disaster Management (DoDMA) had already been informed.
At least 183 hectares of land has been affected although an assessment of infrastructural damage is still ongoing.
Authorities and most organisations including faith groups are putting more effort in the flood hit Lower Shire, where tonnes of relief items have been donated and earmarked for displaced people.
Meanwhile the Meteorological Centre has continuously warned that there are more rains expected and that people in low lying areas, specifically those in the southern part of Malawi where more rains and hailstorms are expected, should move upland.
Local and foreign aid workers including faith groups are mobilising and distributing relief items that include food, clothes, medications and tents to victims, using military and foreign aid agency helicopters.
The rain season this year 2014 started with heavy natural disasters, debuting with a hailstorm in Kasungu before another in Lilongwe early January 2015, that uprooted trees, damaged roofs, fell houses, flooded streams and also led to the deaths of more than 300 people countrywide.
DoDMA meanwhile says it is overwhelmed and its budget exhausted, and has through ministry of finance asked for more funding to reach other to growing numbers of displaced people in about 15 districts across the country.
International governments and aid agencies who have come in from across the globe to assist with the disaster, are bypassing government and using civil society in fear of massive abuse as was experienced.
A shameful Cashgate case where political and state authorities connived with some civil servants, business individuals and banks to milk government coffers of more than MK92 billion has led to loss of trust on the part of development and other partners.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :