Atupele Muluzi calls for relocation of survivors to stadiums

Atupele Muluzi

By Patience Lunda:

Former United Democratic Front (UDF) president, Atupele Muluzi has suggested the need for the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) to relocate cyclone Freddy survivors from school blocks, where they are currently being sheltered, to stadiums.

According to Muluzi, learning has been disrupted and there is a need for the schools to reopen.


Writing on his Facebook page, Muluzi indicated that the use of stadiums would allow Dodma to also ensure security of children and women, as well as careful coordination of rescue efforts and identification of real victims.

“The Ministry of Education needs to think about a solution for the graduating class by reopening classes as soon as possible as there is a serious disruption of learning. Tents, mobile toilets and health assistance is now available and these need to be set up as quickly as possible,” he wrote.

But Dodma spokesperson, Chipiliro Khamula described the damage caused by the cyclones as huge, explaining that placement of the displaced communities in schools was inevitable.


Khamula however disclosed that the department is working tirelessly, in collaboration with the shelter cluster, to have displaced people living in schools moved to temporary shelters.

“We have always worked towards ensuring that classes are not disrupted in case of disasters hence our continued efforts in constructing evacuation centres in disaster prone areas,” he said.

On his part, Water and Environmental Sanitation Network (Wesnet) Executive Director, Willies Mwandira backed Muluzi’s idea, saying stadiums are ideal if they could be provided with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (Wash) equipment.

Mwandira suggested the need for the government to construct evacuation centres in strategic places across the country as a lasting solution.

“Indeed the school curriculum is being disrupted and this is not the last cyclone that will affect the country which is why the government needs to set up evacuation centres in strategic places across the country which should have all necessary facilities,” he said.

Blantyre City Council (BCC) spokesperson, Deborah Luka asked for more time before commenting on the matter.

Cyclone Freddy has displaced nearly 345,200 people and schools are currently the focal point of response as they are housing many displaced people.

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