Communities in Senior Chief Mbenje in Nsanje District have asked duty-bearers to construct evacuation centres to prepare for eventualities during the rainy season.
Speaking on Friday during a Disaster Risk Management for Resilience Workshop at Bangula in the district, Mbenje Area Civil Protection Committee chairperson Stella Davie said people were worried about where to seek refuge in case floods occur.
She said: “During the training, we have learned about the weather focus which says Thyolo and Mwanza will receive more rainfall.
“As a result, this will pose a threat of flooding to Nsanje and Chikwawa districts through Ruo and Mwanza rivers.”
Davie said government has instructed area civil protection committee to arrange houses to accommodate people during floods because schools will not be used as evacuation centres.
“So, we need the evacuation centres. We have already identified two places to construct them,” she said.
Mlonda Ward councillor Hussein Ngwali said people were in a dilemma as they do not know where to seek refuge during floods.
“People used to camp at Mnembe Community- Based ChildCare Centre and Chilimba Primary School, but with the government’s order of not camping in schools, we need the evacuation centres,” he said.
Group village head Mello cited the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Ngabu in Chikwawa where government constructed an evacuation centre using a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) grant.
On his part, Nsanje District Council relief and rehabilitation officer Blessings Kantema said they erect tents to accommodate people during floods.
He said: “But with funding from the African Development Bank for Post Cyclone Idai Emergency Recovery Project, we will construct one evacuation centre in Senior Chief Mlolo in February next year.
“I also assure people of Mbenje that when funding is available, we will construct it.”
With funding from UNDP, the training targeted T/As Mbenje and Mlolo.