Veep Chilima assures Malawi govt assistance for disaster victims

Vice-President Saulos Chilima has assured Malawians affected by different disasters in the country that no one will be left out during distribution of relief items and other required assistance.

Kasungu District Council CEO Grace Chirwa briefs Chilima about the extent of damage
Chilima  speaking to  people who were affected by rainstorm
Chilima speaking in Kasungu when he visited people who were affected by rainstorm
Kasungu District Council CEO Grace Chirwa briefs Chilima about the extent of damage

Chilima, who is also Minister of Disaster Management Affairs, was speaking in Kasungu on Friday when he visited people who were affected by rainstorm which on Tuesday caused damage to several houses, school blocks, shops, including a guardian shelter at Kasungu District Hospital, among others.

About 400 people were affected and 58 houses were completely demolished with 342 houses also partially affected.

The rainstorm also left four people hospitalized including one child whose leg was broken.

Chilima said government was committed to assisting everyone who had been affected by the natural disasters and that no one would be left behind.

“I have to assure you all that government will reach out to everyone who has been affected by disasters. All the relief items that we have brought now are just to help you as a starter pack but we will still reach out to all of you with assistance,

“We all know that in 2016/17 about 6.8 million people were affected by hunger but the president assured everyone would be assisted. In the same line 400, people affected here in Kasungu and from other districts will not be left out,” said Chilima.

The Vice-President observed that all the areas he had visited so far have been affected by same kind of disasters like heavy rains leading to flooding and strong winds, which were a direct result of climate change.

He therefore advised Malawians to take part in replenishing the environment.

“In Mzuzu we had strong winds, same with Salima, Dedza and Mchinji. In Rumphi we had floods and strong winds and this means climate change is here to stay,

“This rainy season the President launched the national tree planting season in Mwanza last month. I am pleading with all of you chiefs, Members of Parliament and the District Commissioner to hold hands and lead people in planting trees.”

He added: “If we can plant trees we can shield the strong winds and some trees can reduce the speed of the running water which also erodes the soil. The problems that we have are there because the trees have been cut and the water can’t be trapped,” said Chilima.

Mayor for Kasungu Municipality, Ireen Katola thanked the Vice-President for always being there for the people when disasters strike.

“I am very thankful that when things like this happen you are always there to sympathize with the people. As a Municipal council, we will make sure that our main task now should be to avoid future disasters by among others, avoiding settlements along river banks,” said Katola.

Traditional Authority Mwase whose area just like that of Chief Kaomba was heavily affected, said the magnitude of the misfortune was something he had never seen and that the people would need urgent support to keep their belongings safe.

“People have nowhere to sleep and are sleeping in their friends’ houses but they also don’t have anywhere to keep their belongings safe. May you help them with tents so that their belongings are safe,” said Chief Mwase.

The affected people received bag of maize, blankets, plastic sheets and kitchen utensils and the Vice President assured the people that they would be provided with tents so that their belongings should not get soaked.

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