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Heavy rains affect 3000 families

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The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) has said the number of households affected by heavy rains has risen to 3,000.

The department has also said that six people have died after being stricken by lightning in the past two months.

Dodma’s Spokesperson, Jeremiah Mphande, hinted that the number could rise further.

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He cites Karonga, Chikwawa, Nsanje, Phalombe and Zomba as among hardest hit districts.

The development comes at a time when the Government of Malawi is still recovering from the 2015 disaster which is said to be the main cause of the current drought.

According to Mphande, government is now responding to two emergencies and had already set aside about K1.5 billion in contingency response plans.

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“The current heavy rains and hailstorms are already having devastating effects on Malawians but as government, the situation has not come as a surprise as we had already set aside some finances to carter for any emergencies that would arise at any given time, so we are responding to the current emergency whilst continuing with the response we started last year,” Mphande said.

He was, however, not specific as to what kind of relief government is distributing to the affected families most of whose homes are said to have been destroyed.

“What I can say now is that government is responding to all these emergencies through the contingency plan but the resources have never been enough, especially this time as we are still in the rainy season,” he said.

Meanwhile, the department is currently training district, information officers from across the country in disaster risk management.

Speaking during the opening of the workshop which is currently underway in Blantyre, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Information Justin Saidi emphasised the importance of engaging information officers in disaster management.

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