President Peter Mutharika has repeatedly said no Malawian will die of hunger but a leading international non-governmental organisation has warned that up to three million people faces starvation before March 31, 2016 due to severe effects of El Nino.
This is the second time Oxfarm is warning of severe effects of El Nino in Malawi and Somalia, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.
Oxfarm says the drought and flooding will ring untold misery to children and women.
The Oxfarm report coincides with a report by the US space agency, NASA, which said on Wednesday the 2016 El Nino will be the worst since 1998.
But local weather expert Elina Kululanga has played down the fears in Malawi, saying unlike weather, El Nino phenomenon can be detected six months in advance.
She said districts like Nsanje and Chikhwawa might be hit hard by the El Nino effects whilst Mulanje and Thyolo will get normal rains, the north will not get adverse effects of the phenomenon but might benefit from it instead.
Kululanga therefore asked people in Malawi not to panic much.
In an earlier interview, spokesman for the department of Disaster Preparedness Jeremiah Mphande said the government is well prepared for either floods or drought that comes as a result of El Nino.
And in his address to the nation broadcast on taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) television and radio Tuesday evening, President Peter Mutharika also highlighted precautionary measures for El-Nino.
President has asked people and all stakeholders to play their rightful roles to complement activities under a contingency plan which government has developed for El-Nino
Said Mutharika: “In this respect, I would first of all, like to strongly appeal to people living in flood-prone areas to urgently re-locate upland with the encouragement and support of local leaders —chiefs, politicians and religious leaders—as well as non-governmental organisations operating in the areas concerned.”
The President also said that in order to ensure the safety of people who are frequently affected by flood disasters, government will, from next year, start the process of permanently resettling the people in safe areas.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :