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Peter Mutharika regrets disaster deaths

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By Yohane Symon:

UNITED IN GRIEF— Dausi (centre) during their visit to Mangochi

President Peter Mutharika has expressed sadness that Malawians continue to lose lives to natural disasters.

Homeland Security Minister, who is also Minister responsible for Disaster Management Affairs, Nicholas Dausi, made the remarks in Mangochi District when he delivered a message of condolence from Mutharika to the family of two people who died after the wall of a house collapsed on them.

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“The President has urged stakeholders to come up with ideas that can build our resilience to natural disasters as a way of reducing the number of people affected every year. The President is also urging people who live in flood-prone areas to move upland.

“We cannot continue to lose people. We need to find a lasting solution. Losing two people at once is a big blow to the family. Let us all work towards making sure that this should not happen again,” Dausi said.

On Monday morning, people of Nsinje Village, Traditional Authority Mponda, in the district woke up to the shocking news of the death of 53-year-old Patuma Welemu and her six-year-old grand-daughter Rose Ayami, who were killed when a house collapsed on them due to heavy rains.

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Postmortem conducted at Koche Health Centre indicates that death was due to injuries sustained after the wall collapsed on the victims.

Rains have displaced at least 84 families and destroyed property worth thousands kwacha.

Department of Disaster Management Affairs spokesperson, Chipiliro Khamula, said the department is assessing the situation in Mangochi and some parts of the country.

He said, since the start of the rains, 21 people have died while 16 have sustained injuries.

“We are still conducting the assessment because, every day, we are receiving reports from our district desk officers. We believe the number of affected people will be increasing as we continue receiving rains across the country. But our plea has always been that people should move upland,” Khamula said.

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