Disaster relief, recovery requires K12bn

Malawi needs about K12 billion to assist people affected by floods in 17 districts which President Peter Mutharika declared a State of National Disaster.

Speaking when he received on behalf of Dodma 150 bags of maize and 45 bags of beans from State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) in Limbe on Friday, Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) director of disaster response and recovery Harris Kachale said the situation in the affected districts is dire.

Houses partly standing in water during the disaster in Nchalo

“The situation on the ground is bad. Houses have fallen. People have died and some were injured. Over 184 000 affected households are in need of supplies,” he said.

As of Thursday, Dodma disaster updates indicated that 56 people had died in the disaster that largely resulted from floods caused by incessant rains in some parts of the Southern and Central regions two weeks ago.

Kachale thanked Admarc for the donation, saying it will alleviate the suffering of the affected families.

He said the affected families are in need of food, shelter, medicine, tents, beddings and utensils.

In her remarks before presenting the food items valued at K3.2 million, Admarc chief executive officer Margaret Roka Mauwa said the parastatal decided to make the donation because the affected households are from farming communities that trade with Admarc.

“We are touched by the disaster. As an agricultural commodity trader, we depend on farmers as producers and partners. Being a Malawian company and those affected are also Malawians, we decided to come in and assist,” she said.

Mauwa said besides this donation, which will go towards flood victims in the Shire Valley districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje, Admarc management will consider assisting affected people in other districts.

Since the disaster occurred over a week ago, development partners, including United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and other well-wishers have come in to provide aid for affected families.

Last week, the United States Embassy said it had sourced $200 000 (about K146 million) from the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to support government’s relief efforts following flood damage.

In a statement issued by the US Embassy last week, the $200 000 received from USAid/OFDA will be put to immediate use to help victims recover from impacts of the flooding.

Government reported that 922 945 people were directly affected by the floods with the loss of roads, homes, schools, bridges, crops, and livestock.

Some of the districts impacted by the flooding are Chikwawa, Machinga, Mulanje, Nsanje, Phalombe and Zomba, according to Dodma.

The Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) said last week the floods will negatively impact on overall agricultural output.

In recent years, Malawi has been experiencing serious effects of climate change as manifested by recurring floods or dry spell, or both almost yearly.

In 2015, Malawi experienced one of the worst and devastating floods in terms of geographical coverage, severity of damage and extent of loss.

While 15 districts were directly affected, the whole country suffered from the effects with water and electricity being interrupted coupled with severe damages on roads and bridges. Consequently, an estimated 1 101 364 people were affected, 230 000 displaced, 106 killed and 172 reported missing.

Overall, the 2015 Floods Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) showed that total damage and loss was valued at $335 million (about K247 billion) while total cost of recovery and reconstruction was pegged at $494 million (about K465 billion).

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