Food shortages now lasting five days in camps for Mzuzu disaster victims is turning the displaced individuals into beggars, it has been established.
During a visit to Kawuwa Camp on Wednesday, it was learnt that most of the displaced people did not have relish as the 20 kilogramme (kg) beans they received were rotten. The victims are also lacking firewood for cooking food.
The camp’s chairperson Nelson Sambo said the beans they received take up to three days to be fully cooked.
He said: “This has left most of us starving. Lactating mothers and children are the most affected. Children are just crying due to hunger.”
Kawuwa camp has 226 people whose houses were destroyed by floods and landslides at Masasa a few weeks ago.
Sambo said the camp has 18 bags of flour weighing 25 kg each which is enough to take them to the next six days. He said the abandoned 20 kg ‘rotten beans’ were enough for two days.
Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) volunteer at the site, Robert Phiri, said Mzuzu City Council (MCC) officials have been communicated on the situation, but nothing has been done.
MCC assistant director of health and social services Felix Namakhuwa confirmed receiving the reports. However, he expressed ignorance as to how the rotten beans found its way to the camp.
He said his office has since dispatched charcoal and food items such as soya pieces to address the situation.
Latest figures following another round of heavy rains on Sunday night indicate that the disaster has in total destroyed 3 000 houses, displaced 14 000 individuals and killed seven people.