The first phase of the Shire River Basin Management Programme’s Flood Risk Management has started in the Shire Valley districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje.
The Phase will see construction of dykes and drifts in flood-prone areas in the districts.
The programme’s Communications Specialist, Horace Nyaka, has said the government of Malawi has also spent over K1 billion in training communities in the two districts on early flood warning initiatives.
Nyaka said that the programme will also provide early warning systems and equipment such as cellphones, bicycles and megaphones to communities to help them communicate and evacuate quickly during natural disasters.
“We have moved from the planning stage to where now the actual construction is taking place, and apart from construction of these facilities [dykes and drifts], we are also providing the communities with early warning systems so that when a flood is impending, the communities can inform one another and evacuate to safe places in time,” Nyaka said.
He said that the programme had already spent about K300 million in providing temporary relief to people who were affected by the floods in 2015.
“Now as we enter into the second phase of the programme, the communities here will have been empowered to take the responsibility of using these facilities and systems to protect themselves and reduce the negative impact of floods and other emergencies,” he said.
Field Coordinator for BRL, the contractors, Edmund Kashoti, said once completed, the facilities will provide adequate protection to the people against floods.
“Most of the floods that occur here are a result of storm waters due to the terrain, so the dykes and drifts will provide total protection to the people,” Kashoti said.
Over 1,050 households are expected to benefit once construction of the facilities is complete in the area of Traditional Authority Mlolo alone in Nsanje District.
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