Mangochi Nkungulu member of Parliament (MP) Aisha Mambo (United Democratic Front-UDF) has told Parliament that the the lakeshore district if facing what she described as Kiyama type of hunger as fall armyworms have destroyed crops and maize fields have been wilting due to prolonged dry spells.
According to Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha, 1.9 million families face hunger due to armyworms and drought.
The minister told Parliament that the twin tragedy will erode maize harvest by 280 metric tonnes countrywide.
But making her contribution to Mid-Year Budget Review Statement, Mambo said the hunger in Mangochi was not looming but looked certain.
“Let me start by thanking government for banning the maize exports. Some of us were sympathising and siding with farmers, but now we are all continuously clapping hands for the decision made by the President,” said Mambo.
Mambo said people in Mangochi Nkungulu “will not even get fresh maize to roast.”
She said: “ They are buying maize from vendors and they will continue to do so through out and we do not know for how long.”
The legislator asked ministry rof agriculture to open temporary ADMARC depots at Changamile, Chimwala and Kasolo so that the people in the constituency should not walk long distances to access the grain.
“On relief food, Mr Speaker, Sir, let me ask the ministry and all groups responsible to increase the number of beneficiaries. In fact, the whole constituency should benefit because nobody will harvest even a little including the Honourable Member herself.
“ Mr Speaker, Sir, what will happen in my constituency in as far as hunger is concerned we are calling it Kiyama and that means the end of the world because what will happen has never happened before hence the cry for relief food and opening of temporary ADMARC depots,” Mambo said.
But Dedza East legislator Juliana Lunguzi (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) standing on a point of order wondered why MP for Mangochi Nkungulu would complain that they have Kiama type of hunger in when they are along Lake Malawi.
“ To me, it is an awareness to all of us. Are we really taking care of this country that we can go hungry when you are sitting next to Lake Malawi? I am confused, that is why I am thinking that something is out of order with the way we are managing this country, not her statement, the Kiyama,” Lunguzi said.
Speaker Richard Msowoya said Mabo’s statement was in order because she was not talking about “those people not drinking or bathing the water.”
The fall of armworms attack has left Malawians with a looming food crisis. The pest destruction in Mangochi is rampant.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :