Slightly over 120 Malawians are still living in camps, almost a month after floods displaced about 4 500 households in Karonga.
The stranded population is split between Kakoma and Chimalabanthu camps on the northern side of the flood-prone shoreline district where rice-growing households are looking forward to a bumper harvest following the catastrophic rainfall.
In an in interview, district commissioner (DC) Rosemary Moyo said the survivors are going to receive their start-up package this week as they look forward to return home “anytime from now”.
The DC said: “The response has been better this year considering that we bought almost all the basics before the tragedy struck. Besides, soldiers were on standby, ready for rescue operations.”
However, some of the displaced are still stranded following the closure of Zindi and Chinsebe camps spoke of a slow response and diminishing attention ahead of a tour by President Peter Mutharika tomorrow.
On her part, Moyo said she was happy because the tour of duty gives the President an opportunity to see for himself how communities were affected by the floods.
“Apart from that, the visit offers the victims encouragement as government is working very hard to lessen their suffering,” she said.
The disaster coincided with a cholera outbreak which has killed 13 of almost 220 patients treated at Karonga District Hospital as well as Lupembe, Mlare, Nyungwe, Kaporo health centres and St Anne’s Hospitals.
The President’s visit comes at a time the outbreak is receding in the worst hit fishing villages on the southern part of the district where Nyungwe registered four deaths and 44 patients as a breakdown of sanitation and hygiene worsened the situation at Phapa, Vuwa and Ngala along Lake Malawi. n