Over 5000 households affected by floods early this month continue facing problems of getting basic needs as government as well as other organizations are yet to bail them out with relief items following the washing away of Jalawe Bridge that is along the Karonga-Mzuzu M1 road in Rumphi district.
About 878 houses were completely destroyed following the floods that Karonga experienced from March 28 to April 3, 2017, killing four people and injuring six others.
When visited the affected families last week, Vice President Saulos Chilima assured the victims that they will receive the relief items within the week.
“Trucks of maize and other relief items are on their way coming here in Karonga,” said Chilima.
However, almost a week has elapsed without the victims receiving relief items as promised because the said trucks are failing to travel to Karonga due to the bridge.
Spokesperson for the Department of Disaster and Management Jeremiah Mphande while confirming the development said ‘the trucks are expected to arrive in the district after the bridge has been sorted.
The bridge problem has not only affect the flood victims but also other businesses.
Six camps were established across the district which now accommodate close to 500 families.
Chief Relief Officer in the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Fyawupi Mwafongo said the relief items supplied by government to the flood-affected families in the district were still stuck near Jalawe Bridge in Rumphi by Saturday due to the problem on the M1 Road.
“As government, we have a stock of 600 bags of maize flour, 600 blankets, 1200 plates and 1500 cups that are stuck near Jalawe bridge, but let me assure people in Karonga that we are working tirelessly to ensure that the items should reach the survivors,’’ he assured.
Red Cross appeal
Meanwhile, Bishop Witmos of Malawi News Agency reports thay Red Cross Society has urged stakeholders to rescue people in Karonga with materials for the construction of resilient houses as a long term measure to address effects of flooding in the district.
Speaking Monday after donating 640 blankets to families staying in camps in the district, Malawi Red Cross Disaster Manager, Joseph Moyo, observed that most houses constructed in the district are temporal, and cannot endure flooding effects.
“You will find out that most of the houses in Karonga are constructed without using strong materials such as cement. As a long-term preventive measure, I would recommend if stakeholders could come in to support communities with construction materials,” HE appealed.
Malawi Red Cross Society donated the blankets in response to the recent floods which displaced hundreds of families.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :