People who were hit by floods in some districts in the Southern Region early this year are facing hunger due to low yields.
A recent visit to Nsanje, Chikwawa and Phalombe, which were among the districts that President Peter Mutharika declared as disaster areas in the aftermath of the floods, revealed that many communities have little or no food to eat.
They have so far asked government through the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), to expedite the process of opening markets to accord them a chance to access maize.
According to Medson Gwirani of Mankhanamba Village in Traditional Authority(T/A) Kaduya in Phalombe, people in the area are surviving on maize distributed through the food for work programme.
“It is difficult to find food nowadays after the floods. Even the maize that we are being given through that programme is not enough as three people have to share only one 50 kg bag. To make it worse, the programme only selects less than 20 people in a village of 300,” said Gwirani.
Catherine Amos, from the same village, added that women are facing the biggest hurdles as most of them fend for their familes.
The same story was recorded from Robert Misoya of group village head (GVH) Mbengo, T/A Malemia in Nsanje.
However, when contacted for comment, Admarc spokesperson Agnes Chikoko admitted that the grain marketer’s markets are yet to open, but indicated that the process was being finalised.
“We have enough stocks of maize as of now. What has been happening is that we have been distributing maize to our holding centres from where the maize is redistributed to various outlets. That process will be complete in a few weeks’ time and we should open the markets by early October,” she said.
Chikoko said so far Admarc has stocked its holding centres at Bangula, Luchenza, Charterland in Limbe, Balaka, Malangalanga, Mponela, Kasungu, Mzimba, Mzuzu and Karonga.