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Karonga disaster survivors await relief items

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By Patience Lunda:

At least 700 Karonga District households that were affected by heavy rains and strong winds a fortnight ago are yet to receive relief items from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma).

Karonga District Commissioner Paul Kalilombe said a report about the disaster was sent to Dodma and assurances were given that the survivors would be assisted in due course.

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He said the survivors were in need of food stuffs and shelter, adding that, as a precautionary measure, council officials had intensified public awareness campaigns for people to relocate from flood-prone areas.

“We did an assessment which showed that over 700 households have been affected and a report was sent to Dodma but, on our part, we have intensified awareness on the dangers of living in flood-prone areas,” he said.

This far, 23 people have died, 123 people have been injured and over 12, 000 households have been affected by natural disasters in the country.

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Dodma spokesperson Chipiliro Khamula said the department was making arrangements to provide assistance to affected households in Karonga District.

“We will be dispatching relief items to Karonga and we hope that, by Thursday, all affected households would be provided with relief items,” he said.

In a related development, Nkhata Bay has become the latest district to be hit by heavy rains accompanied by strong winds. Property has been destroyed and people have been displaced in the areas of traditional authorities Fukamalaza and Nyaluwanga on Tuesday.

Nkhata Bay District Disaster Risk and Management Officer Taonga Kamanga confirmed the development, saying an assessment exercise was underway to measure the extent of the damage.

Other areas that have been affected by natural disasters since the onset of the rains are Mulanje, Ntchisi, Mangochi and Mzimba.

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