Police in Mulanje have challenged people in the district to report emergencies to relevant authorities in a bid to secure humanitarian aid.
The call comes amid concern that some people in the district neglect reporting disasters to police or traditional authorities, thereby cutting themselves off from any humanitarian interventions.
Speaking Wednesday at Senior Chief Mabuka’s headquarters, Deputy Commissioner of Police Edith Misuli said the public must not take matters lightly whenever they are faced with natural disasters such as floods and hailstorms.
Misuli, who is also Officer-in-Charge for Mulanje Police Station, stressed the need for the community to report any emergency occurrence, saying it is easy to process humanitarian assistance since the district council depends on such information from the police.
“When disasters such as floods and heavy winds occur, office of the DC [District Commissioner] depends on our office for proper information, hence the need for you to be in touch with us,” Misuli said.
She further advised the gathering against crossing swollen rivers to avoid drowning.
Mulanje Police Community Policing Coordinator Beston Zawanda urged women not to be sexually exploited by unscrupulous men in their pursuit of relief items.
He observed that some unscrupulous people tend to abuse women in the name of assisting them.
“You must maintain your dignity rather than ‘selling’ it for foodstuffs and relief items,” Zawanda said.
He further appealed to the public to report such dishonest men to police.
“Tipping us of such crooks means ensuring you will get help since they will be arrested and held responsible for their crime,” Zawanda said.
Senior Chief Mabuka asked his subjects to make use of the awareness meeting.
“Most of us neglect to report to authorities whenever disasters break out in our villages and we end up lamenting the loss and destruction of our homes or fields. How can you be assisted since you keep silent? It’s time we changed our mindset and reported anything disastrous,” Mabuka said.
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