Chakwera offers hope and reassurance as he comforts flood victims in Nkhotakota

By Staff Reporter

President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, on Thursday offered hope to the hundreds of victims of devastating floods, when he visited some of the affected areas in Nkhotakota.

The district was severely impacted by floods just over a week ago, following a downpour of torrential rain that persisted for over two days. The unrelenting rain caused the banks of rivers to burst, subsequently destroying infrastructure including roads, bridges and homes; and more poignantly the loss of life.

Chakwera started by inspecting Mkhoma Bridge before proceeding to Dwangwa Trading Centre, which was particularly affected, where he visited one of five relief camps that were set up by authorities, to provide shelter to the victims of the disaster. So far the district  has recorded at least seven deaths as a result of the floods.

As part of the inspection, Chakwera also paid a visit to Illovo Sugar Plant in Dwangwa, where the sugar manufacturer has set up a temporary relief camp, within its compound, for the victims surrounding the area and beyond.

Addressing the victims at the camps and a crowd that gathered at Dwangwa Trading Centre, His Excellency, offered hope and re-assurance but emphasized that the Nkhotakota floods and other natural calamities of this scale affect everyone, and as such require a unified front in addressing the aftermath of such disasters.

President Chakwera also called on more effort to be invested in climate change resilience including in the form of creating infrastructure like roads and bridges that can withstand future natural shocks.

President Chakwera stated that we must learn from these disasters in order to counter the effects of reoccurrences. He added that this can only be achieved if we review the designs of infrastructure in order to make improvements.

He further added that everyone must play their role in enhancing climate change resilience by ensuring that we abide by laws that govern construction of infrastructure including homes.

It is to this end that President Chakwera continues to beseech various quarters to assist Malawi in attaining climate change resilience.

The president on Tuesday held discussions with  Dr. Tanaka Akihiko, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at Sanjika Palace and one area that stood out was how Japan can contribute to making Malawi climate change resilient, given the countries own history with natural disasters.

It is expected that institutions like JIKA can continue to support Malawi through infrastructure development and capacity building that can cushion Malawi against the effects of natural disasters as witnessed in Nkhotakota.

In the mean time the World Food Programme (WFP), Illovo Sugar Malawi and other stakeholders have all come forward and rendered relief to the victims of the Nkhotakota floods.