Atupele in green shirt visiting survivors
Former presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi has advised Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) to use stadiums and not school blocks as camps for survivors of disasters.
Muluzi said this in a Facebook post today, days after floods induced by Cyclone Freddy destroyed houses and left over 500,000 people displaced.
“The use of stadiums would allow DODMA to maximize security (especially for the girl child and women), carefully coordinate the rescue efforts, food distribution, and identification of real victims,” he wrote, adding that stadiums would also assist in categorization of victims and creation of help packages in compliance with the needs of the victims.
Tents, mobile toilets and health assistance is now available and these need to be set up as quickly as possible,” he wrote.
He further argued that there should also be a focus on coordination of resources considering that many of those affected are in rural areas where they can’t be pulled into a centralised camp.
“There is an urgent need for accurate information on the “Need”; then prudently prioritising the use of the resources that are in country and identifying what is needed from outside.
“Sadly, people appear to generally want to stay at home, even if their home has been flattened. They will want to protect their belongings and their home community rather than flee to a camp or location they do not know. So there is an urgent need to identify, locate and assist the seriously affected victims of the cyclone. A huge task awaits,” said Muluzi.
Apart from leaving thousands homeless, Cyclone Freddy has killed 499 people while over 400 people are still missing.
Currently, schools in the Southern Region are closed as classrooms are being used to host Cyclone Freddy survivors. Experts have argued that the closure of the schools will affect learners especially those expected to sit for national exams this year.
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