Malawi: Mutharika Reaffirms Commitment to Support Displaced Households

17 March 2019

President Peter Mutharika has reaffirmed government's commitment to ensuring that all people displaced by devastating rains return to their normal life and continue with their routine activities for their livelihood improvement.

Mutharika visits flood victims in Phalombe

Mutharika was speaking on Saturday at Mileme Primary School evacuation camp in the area of Traditional Authority Jenala in Phalombe when he visited and cheered households displaced by floods following the continuous rains experienced last week.

He said government remains committed to improve people's living conditions including those affected by natural disasters by instituting various social protection programmes such as enlisting affected households in public works and social cash transfer programmes, among others.

"We will do everything possible to ensure lives of people that have been affected by the floods return to normal," Mutharika said.

Mutharika said he has since directed the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to take on board all people whose houses were destroyed by the disaster under the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme, popularly known as the Cement and Malata Subsidy.

The president, however, asked people to render support to people affected by the floods with the little available resources in community in the spirit of patriotism considering that Malawi was well known as the Warm Heart of Africa.

He deplored gender based violence which is mostly perpetrated by men.

On killings and abductions of people with albinism, Mutharika said government is determined to deal with the problem once and for all, saying the United Nations had deployed a team of experts to assist in investigating the issue, besides instituting a Commission of Enquiry.

"Government is doing its best to come to the bottom of the problem. The commission that we've swore-in this week is composed of highly respected people headed by a Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal," he said.

"But there are some misguided people who are busy undermining government efforts to deal with the problem," he said. "We should take politics out of the issue of albinos."

The Malawian leader, therefore, thanked the governments of South Africa and America for responding to government's call immediately when the disaster was declared a state of emergency.

"The US Government has supported Malawi in its humanitarian efforts with K146 million while South Africa has sent a team of rescue experts. This kind of bilateral cooperation needs to be commended," he added.

District Commissioner for Phalombe, Memory Kaleso said the disaster left one child dead and 18 others injured with most of the affected losing household property, including food.

However, Kaleso said the council was grateful to Malawi Red Cross Society and Sawa Group, the Indian Community and Bilal Trust for responding swiftly to the call by government on the emergency.

"Classes have been disrupted because; either the children have lost their learning materials to the floods or classrooms have been occupied by people displaced by the same," Kaleso said.

At least 21, 870 households representing 96, 026 people have been affected by the floods in Phalombe district alone.

Traditional Authority Jenala said the displaced people were living in deplorable conditions with sanitation and hygiene compromised. He said the stormy rains have also destroyed crops thereby increasing people's vulnerability to hunger.

He described Mutharika as a considerate and passionate leader, noting that by cutting short his official visit to the north was clear demonstration of his concern for the welfare of all Malawians.

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