Nankhumwa urges Chakwera to declare state of disaster

Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa says President Lazarus Chakwera should declare Malawi a State of Disaster following devastation in the Southern Region caused by Tropical Storm Ana.

Nankhumwa in a statement this morning noted that floods induced by the storm have caused devastating damage as Malawians have lost homes, food, crops, clothes, and their loved ones.

He added that the storm is one of the worst natural disasters that Malawi has ever experienced and has come when Malawians were already grappling with other crises such as the sky-rocketing inflation and general social and economic downturn, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nankhumwa who is also Member of Parliament for Mulanje Central appealed to Chakwera and his government to quickly render assistance to hundreds of people who have been displaced and lost literally everything.

“The President may also wish to officially declare a State of Disaster in order to facilitate and attract speedy humanitarian assistance for reconstruction and rehabilitation. Many people will need sustained assistance and support from well-wishers, the government, and our international partners in order to get back on their feet,” said Nankhumwa.

Commissioner for Department of Disaster Management Affairs Charles Kalemba said yesterday that DoDMA flooding and strong winds caused damage in Chikwawa, Nsanje, Phalombe and Mulanje districts.

In Mulanje, one person died and 30 sustained various degree of injuries following ANA-induced heavy rains and collapsed houses. Displaced households sought refuge in churches and schools.

In Chikwawa, the M1 Road was cut-off at Thabwa, and Nchalo, with TAs Lundu, Kasisi, Maseya, Mulilima and Ngowe heavily affected by flooding. Chapananga Bridge on the Chikwawa-Mwanza Road also had its approaches cut-off.

In Nsanje, Makhanga and Nyachikadza areas was cut-off with some households feared to be trapped by floods in Nyachikadza. In Phalombe, TAs Jenala, Namasoko and Phweremwe were heavily affected.