By Yohane Symon:
Natural disasters have affected approximately 8,000 households across the country, The Daily Times has learned.
Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) spokesperson Chipiliro Khamula said, as of November 19 2021, 13 people had lost their lives while 51 were injured.
We have also gathered that one child died on Monday this week after a wall collapsed on her, taking the death toll to 14.
He cited Mangochi, Lilongwe, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Mchinji, Nkhata Bay, Nsanje and Phalombe as some of the districts where the damage had been extensive.
“So far, a total of 7,979 households have been affected. Dodma has registered 13 deaths, seven of them are as a result of people being struck by lightning. Six people died after walls collapsed on them after being affected by strong winds and stormy rains,” he said.
Khamula, however, said the department was ready to respond to any natural disaster which might occur in any part of the country.
He said the relief agency had started reaching out to disaster survivors.
“So far, we have reached out to 4,180 households. The provision of relief assistance is on-going and the department will reach out to all the remaining households and those that might be affected along the way. The package included food and non-food items such as rice, plastic sheets for temporary roofing, kitchen utensils, tents and housing units,” he said.
He added that Dodma and Malawi Red Cross Society had trained people in first aid administration during emergencies.
“The idea is that we should have well knowledgeable members of staff who can provide first aid treatment to injured persons or those in shock during an emergency in order to save lives. We have, so far, trained 34 members of staff,” he said.
Dodma has also constructed dykes and storm drains as one way of reducing the risk of flash flooding within Lilongwe City, which experiences floods almost every wet season.
Khamula further said that Dodma had coordinated the development and review of the Multi-Hazard Contingency Plan at National and District levels.
“The contingency plans act as a framework for raising resources for disaster preparedness and responses at all levels. In addition, local humanitarian organisations use the contingency plan to justify setting aside emergency funds so that they can fulfil the roles that have been assigned to them in the plan,” he said.