Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Clement Chinthu Phiri has disclosed that natural disastershave killed 14 people since the inset of rainy season from 12 October 2017.
Speaking at a news conference in Lilongwe on Tuesday, Chinthu Phiri said out of 14 death, seven happened in Lilongwe, three in Dedza, two in Nkhotakota and one each in Machinga and Zomba.
Phiri also said there has been 88 injuries recorded with 8 671 households and 47 691 people affected by flash floods, heavy winds and hailstorms among other challenges in the country.
“The impact of the disaster include loss of lives, injuries, damage to houses and property as well as desrtruction of crop fields and infrastructure,” he said.
He said DODMA has been “overwhelmed” with the disasters but were doing everything possible to “reach out” to the affected people.
“This has been greatly demonstrated by the Minister responsible, the Right Honourable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima’s (State Vice President) visit of disaster affected areas in Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Rumphi and Kasungu, among other areas, as well as the distribution of relief items to almost all the 20 affected districts,” said Phiri.
Phiri said the Department is coordinating the provision of relief assistance to the affected households and that so far, 8110 households have been reached with assistance from donors.
He said lack of independent budgetary allocation towards disaster management is contributing negatively towards late response to disasters happening in the country.
Flanked by Director of Disaster Response and Recovery, Paul Kalilombe, Director of Disaster Risk Reduction, James Chiusiwa, Deputy Director of Disaster Response and Recovery, Dyce Nkhoma , and Chief Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Fyawupi Mwafongo, Chinthu said the good news is that laws governing the disasters are being looked at and some of the issues being reviewed are those to do with autonomous budget.
In his remarks, Mwafongo said other issues aiming at removing unnecessary delays in disaster management response include decentralizing all activities to do with their office. Mwafongo said discussions are at advanced stage to devolve the Dodma activities in corroboration with Ministry of Local Government.