International NGO, Oxfam says it is concerned with the steady rise of maize prices to about 40 per cent above normal price in Malawi and is expected to reach 75 percent above recommended price in few weeks time.
Nellie Nyangw’a Oxfam regional director for southern Africa said this in an interview with the BBC on Thursday.
“We are not getting as much help from donors. In the past, we used to get maize from South Africa and Zambia but looks like these countries have their own problems this time. They too did not harvest enough,” she said.
Maize is selling at K7, 000 per bag of 50 kg in state controlled Admarc depots but the selling process is marred with corruption as the graft busting body, the Anti Corruption Bureau report shows some politicians are influencing the sale of the maize to their party followers whilst some clerks are conniving with vendors to buy in bulks and resale at K9, 000 per bag of 50 kg in some areas and K10000 in other areas.
Nyangw’a said the future looks murky as the first rains came very late in early December and disappeared for some weeks before coming again this week typical of El Nino weather phenomenon.
President Peter Mutharika has repeatedly said no Malawian will die of hunger but the situation on the ground makes his words mere rhetoric.
Reports this week indicate one person starved to death near Mwakasongwe hills, in the area of Paramount Chief M’mbelwa V in Mzimba.
The situation is worsened by the dimming economic condition for the country.
Nyangw’a said the situation is worse in Zimbabwe. She said 10 per cent of the southern Africa’s 577 million population is affected by the El Nino, blamed for prolonged dry spells and devastating floods.