Malawi President Prof Peter Mutharika has cancelled his trip to Mozambique on Thursday for his scheduled appearance at the inauguration of the country’s President elect, Filipe Nyusi, to work on the government’s floods disaster response, the State House said Wednesday.
State House press officer Chikondi Juma said President Mutharika has cancelled his scheduled trip to Maputo, Mozambique which he was expected on Thursday January 15, 2015.
“The President’s decision to cancel the trip is due to the prevailing flood situation in this country,” Juma said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. George Chaponda (MP) who is already in Maputo will represent Mutharika at the inauguration.
Meanwhile, Vice President Saulos Chilima said on Wednesday that government was making progress in its rescue operations and distribution of relief aid to flood victims across the country while paying tribute to selfless gestures from stakeholders, private sector, and donors.
He said the boats had been sent by the Malawi Defence Force and the marine department and that “the military was in full control of the situation.”
Addressing a news conference to update the nation on the disaster situation, Chilima who is also Minister Responsible for Disaster Management Affairs, said about 12 boats were on the ground doing rescue operations in the lower shire.
“We are full throttle on the ground and more and more people are being rescued by the boats manned by the military personnel. It is only air operations that are being hampered with bad weather but the efforts will continue. Relief is assistance is coming and we are grateful to those extending help,” said the vice President.
FDH Bank, Airtel Malawi, Emmanuel TV, Prophet Bushiri, World Vision International were some of those that were responding to the government’s desperate call for assistance.
The Vice President however assured that government’s response was on track with K500 million being set aside for the operations.
Throughout Wednesday evening after meeting the press, the Vice President also met senior government officials on the need to go full scale on the ground and later the same evening Chilima met the donor community.
The coordination and response to the disaster will among others be done through the clusters of Agriculture and Food Security, Health and Nutrition, Early Recovery and Protection and Emergency shelter and camp management.
“Members of the clusters comprise relevant government ministries and departments, UN agencies, cooperating partners and NGOs. The clusters will be responsible for identification of needs within the cluster and ensuring that the needs are addressed,” said Chilima.
Meanwhile a toll free number 115 has been activated where people can call from all local networks and report any emerging disasters or where relief assistance is critically need.
Apart from the toll number, officials from the department of disaster will also be taking calls at anytime on the following numbers 0991 269 066, 0888 867 015, 0999 937 952, 0999 205 939, 0888 872 314.
The Vice President also called for financial contributions to be made through ‘Office of the Vice President – Disaster Management” account numbers 9700000100514 and 9700000105257 at FDH Bank, Capital City.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :