Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima on Friday called upon contractors in the country to erect strong and up-to-standard structures that should withstand disaster shocks.
Chilima said construction of sub-standard structures was one of the major factors contributing to threats to lives of innocent people when disasters strike.
The Vice President made the call in Balaka at Makuta Primary School in Traditional Authority Kachenga when he presented relief items to families affected by wind storm that hit the area on Monday, January 8.
Chilima said: “Let me appeal to the district council that when awarding contracts, give them to contractors who have the expertise to erect strong structures that guarantee safety to people’s lives.
Commenting on the disaster, the Vice President urged all the affected households not to despair because government will not allow anyone to suffer under its watch saying ‘government is on the look-out.’
“The relief items that I have brought today are for the people who have been affected, let us avoid corruption during the distribution so that all the affected benefit,” he said.
The Vice President reminded people that climate change is a reality and there was need to need to adopt mitigating measures to its negative impact by among other things dressing bare lands with new trees.
Chilima expressed gratitude to Balaka District Council for setting out to plant more than seven million trees this year alone.
In December last year, President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika officially launched the national tree planting season that runs from December 15 to April 15.
The country expects to plant at 60 million trees during this season.
Speaking earlier, District Commissioner (DC) for Balaka, Rodrick Mateauma thanked government for the timely response to the disaster.
“It was only on Monday when this disaster happened but within a few days you have managed to visit the affected people and appreciate the degree of the damage,” Mateauma said.
He pointed out that a total of 698 households have been affected by the wind storm in various areas across the district.
“Apart from the wind storm, the district has also been faced with the problem of fall army worm whereby 19, 000 hectares of maize field has been affected by the worm,” Mateauma said.
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