Vice President Everton Chimulirenji says Malawi needs MK508 billion to fully recover from floods that affected some parts of the country.
The Veep made the remarks on Sunday at Ntangaye primary in Machinga during the commemoration of international day for disaster reduction and official launch of the disaster recovery framework and food insecurity response plan.
According to Chimulirenji, the country has only sourced MK 57 billion of the total amount.
‘‘The recovery framework shows that we require approximately US$668 million (508 billion Malawi Kwacha) to fully recover from the March, 2019 floods. Among the six priority sectors, priority 1 interventions will require US$ 244 million (183 billion Malawi Kwacha). So far, we have managed to mobilise US$75 million (MWK57 billion), leaving a gap of US$169 (MK126 billion),’’ he said.
Chimulirenji added that Malawi needs serious measures to alleviate challenges faced due to natural disasters because the country is being a severe victim.
He noted that Malawi loses assets worth millions and spends millions of kwacha every year responding to disasters such as floods and dry spells.
According to Chimulirenji, this year alone, 288,371 houses, 154 primary school blocks, 25 health facilities, 129 bridges, 1,841 kilometres of roads among other key infrastructure have been damaged due to floods.
“We sadly lost 60 lives, mainly due to collapsing houses. As indicated by Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, this year more than one million Malawians require food aid to survive.
“This year’s commemoration brings a puzzle that has been troubling this nation for years. It requires serious reflection among all of us gathered here and those listening. Every year, we keep moving in cycles, from risk reduction to response to recovery. If you look at how much we are investing in reducing some of the disasters and what happens when disasters strike, it is disheartening,” he said.
Chimulirenji added that government is trying to put in measures to alleviate the challenges caused by floods and is making some efforts to address disaster risk and build resilience.
He further said that government, through the Department of Housing, developed Safer House Construction Guidelines which emphasize the need to construct structures that last and are resilient to shocks such as floods.
According to the vice president, similar guidelines have also been developed in the education and road sector. The vice president then appealed to all stakeholders, including communities, to use the guidelines.
‘’If we don’t invest in resilience in the construction industry, particularly in critical infrastructure, we will be launching and implementing recovery and response plans every year which is not the right thing to be doing. It is also important that households that are in low lying areas move to upper and safer areas to avoid risks that come with floods,” he said.
Malawi is one of Sub-Saharan African countries that are heavily affected by floods because of its geographical location. Mostly, the districts in the lower shire and those in the northern region are heavily flooded every year.