By Jameson Chauluka:
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) needs over K280 billion to relocate internally displaced people to higher grounds.
Thousands of people were displaced after Cyclone Idai left severe floods in its wake, the most affected districts being those in the Southern Region.
Dodma Principal Secretary and Commissioner for Disasters, Wilson Moleni, made the announcement during a consultative meeting on relocation and resettlement of people in disaster-prone areas.
In April this year, the then Homeland Security minister, Nicholas Dausi, said in Chikwawa District that the government would need in excess of K90 billion for the exercise.
But Moleni said Dodma needed $370.5 million (approximately K282 billion) to facilitate resettlement of internally displaced people to higher grounds.
“The department has noted that most internally displaced people are returning to the same disaster-prone areas, which means they would be in the same situation if disaster strikes again this rainy season.
“We are positive that we will get the money because our partners are willing to help us. The government will also do its part,” he said.
Moleni said the money would also cater for the provision of social amenities in people’s new locations.
“On the surface; yes, it [the money] might sound huge but it’s not just for the relocation exercise. That money will also cater for the provision of roads, schools, hospitals and other social amenities in the areas people will relocate to,” he said.
Chikwawa District Commissioner, Lusizi Nhlane, said there was need to find long-term solutions to floods which hit Chikwawa and other districts almost every year.
Heavy rains which hit the southern part of Malawi killed 60 people and affected over 800,000. At least 100,000 were left homeless.