President Peter Mutharika has described the 2014/2015 farming season as one of the worst Malawi has ever experienced in recent years.
The President said this on Monday during his National Address on Food Security at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
He said: “There have always been people facing hunger in recent years, but the situation this year is the worst compared to the other years.”
Mutharika observed that during the growing season under review, the rains started very late (in mid- December 2014) and from the onset rains in mid-December, 2014, through to mid-January, 2015, the country received continuous heavy rainfall that led to the worst flooding in living memory.
The President said the floods affected about 1.1 million people and damaged property and public infrastructure, washing away at least 64 000 hectares of crop fields, mostly in the Southern Region.
“During the floods, 106 people were killed and 172 people were reported missing and the magnitude of the floods caused my government to swiftly move in and, as you will recall, I declared a state of national disaster in the 15 most affected districts and I appealed for assistance on 13th January, 2015,” he said.
The President said the affected population of 2.8 million is spread in 24 districts of Chitipa, Karonga and Mzimba in the Northern Region; Dedza, Dowa, Kasungu, Lilongwe, Mchinji Nkhotakota, Ntcheu and Salima in the Central Region; and Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Machinga, Mangochi, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje, Phalombe, Thyolo and Zomba in the Southern Region.