19 April 2018

Malawi: GEMMAP a Solution to Disasters

Blantyre — The second phase of the Geological Mapping and Mineral Assessment Project (GEMMAP) which government has rolled out this month is said to be a solution to disaster risk impact.

Recently the Vice President Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima toured houses in Ntandire, Lilongwe and ordered the demolition of some of the houses in the area because they were prone to disasters.

Geological Survey Project Coordinator, Kondwani Dombola told Malawi News Agency in an interview on Tuesday that through the project they would produce geohazards maps of Malawi which indicate areas which are prone to geohazards (natural disasters) and areas which are not.

Dombola said the maps would help people to decide on where to do construction, whether road construction, buildings and all other types of infrastructure.

"Earthquakes are geohazards, which are caused by faulting of the cluster and areas where there are faults are prone to earthquakes. The maps indicate the areas which have active faults and where there are active faults, people are not allowed to construct around that area," Dombola said.

Dombola further said that people were not allowed to construct around Soche Mountain in Blantyre because the slope is unstable and in case of landslides, rocks move from the top of the hills down to where people have constructed their houses.

In Malawi, the common natural disasters are earthquakes and landslides and according to the department of natural disasters, there is no report in Malawi indicating as to whether the country encountered volcano and mudflows.

The second phase of GEMMAP which started this month and is expected to cover Chitipa, Karonga and Nkhatabay Districts between the months of April and July, thereafter Rumphi and Mzimba between August and November this year, is aimed at finding out the type of minerals and rocks the country has and their significance.

The first phase of survey covered Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mulanje, Phalombe, Chiradzulu, Zomba, Mwanza and Neno Districts in 2017. Government through the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining is implementing the project with support from the French Government.

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