State Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima on Thursday visited some of the victims whose property were destroyed by stormy rains in Mzuzu and affected residential areas of Kaning’ina, Katawa and Zolozolo where he expressed concern with Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) and city councils negligence in preventing disasters and reducing their effects among affected communities.
Chilima made the call Thursday in Mzuzu after The Vice-Presidet observed that there are some disasters that have occurred across the country which he said could have been prevented if relevant stakeholders did what was supposed to be done.
“I have seen a house in Kaning’ina that was damaged because old trees fell on it. Why are we keeping such trees in town? We need to get rid of such trees in town. If I see such trees, it means there are some people who are sleeping on their job,” he said.
He also questioned Escom’s reasoning in leaving power lines in areas where trees and roof fell on the lines, saying such trees should be cut.
Chilima also cautioned those that are constructing their houses in water logged areas to stop.
“Let me say here. Climate change is real and it has come to stay; this is a fact. We thank God for the good rains for we are going to have bumper harvest. But what is needed now is for us to come up with strategies of curbing disasters,” he said.
The Vice President said if people will continue building their houses in uninhabitable areas such as middle of the river or in driangage, the country will continue experiencing disasters.
“If you are building your houses along river banks, just know that you are inviting troubles. Let us stop this,” Chilima appealed.
Chilima also observed that people have “occupied hilly areas and constructed houses that are almost on top of each other” and yet the council and other authorities “stand by and watch such a ticking time-bomb”.
The Veep said laws should be applied and that “we have to be a disciplined nation”, saying people should follow building guidelines of the city.
However, Mzuzu City Member of Parliament, Leonard Njikho said there was need for government, through city council, Lands and Malawi Housing departments to allocate proper place for low and medium income people within the city.
Njikho said many people in the city, especially those on low and medium income levels are not given a chance to find better plots for their settlement, hence are forced to construct their houses in water logged places.
“We have three landlords in the city; namely City Council, Lands Department and Malawi Housing Corporation but it seems these institutions are not working closely.
“For example, the land that city council may consider as uninhabitable, you find Lands Department allowing people to construct on the same land. This brings confusion,” he said.
During the visit, the Vice-President distributed 200 50kg bags of maize, 10 20kg bags of salt, 400 blankets, 200 plastic pails and 800 plastic plates, among other items.
Stormy rains damaged several houses in Mzuzu in the residential areas of Zolozolo, Chiputula, Chibanja, Chimaliro, Masasa, Msongwe and Mzilawayingwe.
They also damaged eight police officers’ houses at Northern Region Police Headquarters in the city.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :