Mangochi South legislator Lilian Patel (United Democratic Front-UDF) has accused Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac), a famine early warning system, of producing misleading results that do not reflect the situation on the ground.
She expressed her sentiments in a supplementary question to the one posed by Ntchisi North member of Parliament (MP) Boniface Kadzamira (independent) on why it takes long for Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) to respond to disasters in other areas of the country.
Patel said the statistics reflected in the Mvac report are often different from what is on the ground; hence, creating an impression that it cooks up figures.
She said: “Mvac is misleading everybody… For example, in my area, the district agriculture development officer gave a number of 20 000 as food insecure, but Mvac said it was only 1 000. Where do they get such figures?”
Mvac projected that about 3.3 million people will be food-insecure following a 28.4 percent decrease in maize production last year. However, the figure is expected to rise to closer to 3.6 million as some areas which were thought to be food-secure have turned out to have no food.
But according to Dodma, which is still collecting data, some areas were not included in the report which has made the figure of those in need to rise, vindicating Patel.