President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has called for unity amongst the citizenry of this country and all stakeholders in disaster response saying it will help the country to be resilient and make fast strides in recovery and building back.
Chakwera made the remarks Monday in Chikwawa after an arial and road tour in the affected areas.
Speaking at Thabwa where he addressed the affected persons, Chakwera said the effects of moderate tropical storm ANA are very devastating and call for concerted efforts if the country is to experience a speedy recovery.
He said that he was aware that people were warned in advance and some moved to upland areas but they never had an idea, judging from previous experiences, what was to be before them.
“I have gone round to see the affected areas. The community leaders have confirmed that ever since their existence, they have never seen anything flooding of this magnitude, which means that it was beyond anyone’s capacity to withstand,” said Chakwera.
He said that there is need for people to hold hands to reach out to the affected so that in no time the country can get back to normality.
Chakwera added that Malawi will need help to reconstruct in terms of housing, road and electricity infrastructure.
He said: “I have been informed that in two days time they will have completed compilation of all what is needed as they are currently doing an inter-agency assessment.
“And we trust that friends will have to come to our aid from anywhere around the globe.”
On his part, one of the affected people at Thabwa camp, Jonathan Ngozo informed the President that the camp has 354 affected households and that the number keeps on rising.
Ngozo said their immediate needs are food, shelter as they plan to rework on their farms since all their crops were washed away.
“The numbers of those affected keeps rising. As you can see Mr President, it will take time for us to recover hence a plea to government to continue supporting us till when we are ready to provide for ourselves. In the immediate term Mr President, we need inputs to replant,” said Ngozo.
Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba assured the President that the department will continue to look after the affected households especially those in camps making sure that the environment in the camps is conducive for all.
Kalemba said the department is aware of the needs in the camps and all affected areas but response has been hampered by road cut-offs.
“The department in collaboration with other stakeholders is trying its level best to reach out to all affected districts. In most areas, trucks carrying relief items cannot deliver the items to designated points because the roads are impassable,” said Kalemba.
However, he said that stakeholders such as the Roads Authority, Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM)are working tirelessly to restore the services in all the affected districts and assured the president that road and electricity services for the Lower Shire may be reinstated by the end of the week.