Malawian President Peter Mutharika said on Tuesday that the current floods which hit 15 district early this year has cost the Malawi economy at least K23.9 billion and that his government was seeking $81 million to support floods survivors.
President Mutharika said in a State of the Nation address that K23.9 billion excludes the cost of the relief programmes that are currently underway by government and other organizations and individuals.
“On the basis of available information so far, K5.6 billion worth of maize, K1.5 billion worth of rice, K320 million worth of groundnuts, K728 million worthy of cotton, and K51.8 million worth of fish has been lost,” revealed President Mutharika.
“It is also estimated that a total of K2.9 billion worth of livestock has been lost,” said the Malawi leader, pointing out that the loss of these assets had aggravated national food security.
Mutharika noted that the floods have caused “a lot of damage and will bring many negative socio-economic effects to the Malawian economy.”
“The growth for the country is largely driven by the agriculture, manufacturing, electricity, water and mining sectors, among others,” he noted.
“These have been adversely affected by the floods, to the extent that the country is likely to achieve economic growth lower than the 5.8 percent projected earlier for 2015,” said Mutharika.
Malawi’s Department of Surveys estimated that, as of Jan. 13, 63,531 hectares of land had been inundated by floodwater.
It is estimated that around 116,000 of the nation’s farmers – and some 35,000 hectares of cropland – have been affected.
“In this respect, the floods will have a huge impact on household food security during the 2015/16 consumption season,” he said.
In terms of a long-term response, the President said the government was finalizing a new national disaster management policy that would guide the government and other stakeholders on the implementation of programs and activities.
He said the policy was aimed at addressing disaster threats and reducing the impact of disasters in local communities.
Meanwhile, Mutharika will Wednesday leave the country for Ethiopia for an African Union summit where among other things he will brief the summit on the devastating floods which fallen the Malawi nation.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :