Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi has assured people affected with rainstorms of support, saying government is prepared for any form of disaster this rainy season.
The minister gave theassurance when he visited victims of a rainstorm which on November 26 blew offroofs of 286 houses in traditional authorities (T/A) Kanduku and Nthache inMwanza, affecting 1 573 people.
In Thyolo, a similar storm on December 4 and 5 blew off roofs of 553 houses, affecting 3 041 people in five T/As of Khwethemule, Chimaliro, Thomas, Bvumbwe, and Nchiramwera.
No death was reported in both districts, but 38 people sustained minor injuries in Thyolo.
On Saturday, Dausi distributed relief items to the affected people in the two districts where he assured them of government’s continued support.
The minister distributed a relief package to each affected household which included a 50 kilogramme (kg) bag of maize, a bucket and plastic sheet.
Said Dausi: “Government is well-prepared for any disaster occurrence this rainy season. We also have all resources in place to ensure all affected people are assisted accordingly.”
On his part, T/A Nthache of Mwanza commended government for the timely response which he said will go a long way in restoring the people back to their normal life.
“These items are essential. Some of the affected people lost almost everything including their houses and other properties such as clothes, maize flour, fertilisers, buckets, cement and iron sheets. With this support, they will start rebuilding their lives,” said the chief.
T/A Kwethemule of Thyolo called for more support from government and well-wishers, saying despite the storm, many households in the area were facing hunger due to a poor harvest in the last growing season.
The two chiefs also asked government to provide seeds for replanting as some crops were washed away by heavy rains.
The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (MET) warned last month that the country will experience adverse weather conditions which include heavy rains associated with destructive winds that can result in flooding in some parts.
So far Chikwawa, Mwanza, Blantyre and Thyolo have been affected this season.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma), says it has stockpiled relief items in its warehouses in Ntcheu, Karonga, Blantyre and Lilongwe. Dodma has also pre-positioned search and rescue personnel and equipment in flood-prone areas.
Under the Small Grants Scheme, with support from United Nations Development Programme and China, Dodma has also constructed flood mitigating structures in flood-prone districts.