Floods that have hit Karonga District since Thursday last week have killed three people, injuring three children and displaced at least 818 households, authorities have said.
Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who is also Minister responsible for Disaster Management Affairs, visited some of the affected places yesterday, where he assured of continued government support.
He said government was concerned with the situation, further stating that Capital Hill has enough relief items for all the affected persons.
In Karonga North where he visited yesterday, Chilima brought with him relief items for 750 households, but assured the remaining people that government will swiftly send more aid.
He visited camp sites at Kasantha and Kaporo, both in the area of Traditional Authority Kilupula.
The Vice-President warned authorities in the district against personalising the relief items, stating, they should only go to people affected, and not relatives of government officials or chiefs, who are not affected.
He said: “The relief items only go to those people that have been affected, for those of us that have not been affected, let us help to make sure that they reach out to the affected people.
“Nobody from my office. Nobody from the district commissioner’s [DC] office and nobody from Paramount Kyungu’s office is going to be a beneficiary if they are not on the list of beneficiaries.
“If the situation here does not permit for a good living environment, we are going to be in discussions with the DC, the chiefs and other leaders so that we could relocate to the more purpose-built camp sites.”
On his part, Traditional Authority Kilupula thanked government for the relief items, and called for measures on how the situation could be prevented in future.
While stating that the disaster was a result of natural causes, the chief admitted that people in the area may have contributed to the same.
Chilima responded by calling for the need to plant more trees, and that discussions were ongoing on the permanent camp sites.
As at Monday, the heavy rains had also displaced over 130 households in Nkhotakota, while in Nkhata Bay, over 20 households and 45 hectares of crop fields had been affected.
Chilima is today expected to visit Mangochi District Hospital which was gutted by fire on Sunday. On Tuesday he visited Nkhotakota.