President Peter Mutharika has wished all Malawians wherever they are a Happy and Prosperous New Year with new hope and resolutions to succeed.
The President has also called on Malawians to embrace the three pillars of patriotism, integrity and hard work which he introduced in order for 2016 to be the year for all Malawians to remember.
In his New Year’s Address to the Nation, Mutharika said 2016 is the year he and all Malawians have lived to see; hence, it is important to thank God the Father for it.
“We all feel humbled that Great Grace has taken us this far, and Providence has walked on our side. Fellow Malawians, I come to speak to you cheered up, encouraged, and inspired, because I believe the worst of the times are gone. And the best for us is yet to come,” said the President.
Mutharika described 2015 as one of the most challenging, and most trying times in Malawi’s history.
He said 2015 was a strange year in which extreme rains and devastating floods were followed by scorching drought which burnt the crops that remained in the fields.
He said: “We all know the reasons for this—our agricultural activity was affected heavily by the floods and drought; leading to a huge drop in maize production by almost 30 percent; and contributing to rising inflation. The assessment which my Government undertook through the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee, estimated that 17 percent of the total population would not be able to meet their annual food requirements during the current year.”
He, however, said government has better news as it has enough food for all the 2.8 million people that were estimated to face starvation.
The President added that out of the 2.8 million people, 1.9 million from 168 traditional authorities (T/As) will be given food while about 900 000 people from 58 T/As will be given cash to purchase food commodities.
Malawi experienced the worst floods in recent years in January 2015. About 1.1 million people were affected; 106 people were killed; 172 people were reported missing; 230 000 were displaced whereas people’s property and public infrastructure as well as 64 000 hectares of crop fields were damaged. n