By Yohane Symon
Vice-President Everton Chimulirenji has urged communities in areas which were affected by floods to take a leading role in rebuilding the damaged public structures.
Chimulirenji was speaking on Saturday in Mangochi when he appreciated World Bank funded disaster response and recovery initiatives at Chamtulo Primary School.
At the school, World Bank constructed a classroom block to replace one which was damaged by Cyclone Idai in January this year.
“Malawi this year experienced the worst disaster which requires collective efforts to restore public and private structures which were damaged by Cyclone Idai. Therefore, I want to appeal to communities living in areas which were had hit by the floods to assist government and other partners in repairing public structures such as schools and hospitals,” he said.
The contributions, according to Chimulirenji, can be in the form of one offering to provide casual labour or building materials.
He also warned people against vandalising government structures which are being reconstructed in the affected areas, arguing vandalism derails progress.
“On our part as government, we will continue looking for resources to further reach out to other people who were affected by the floods across the country,” he said.
Due to Cyclone Idai, about 461 primary and secondary schools were damaged, affecting about 420,000 learners.
Education authorities say the damage to school structures increased school dropout because a lot of learners were not going to School due to lack of proper learning structures.
In his remarks, World Bank Country Manager Greg Toulmin said the bank recognises that Malawi is prone to natural disasters, which he said require long term mitigating measures.
Toulmin said the World Bank will continue to support Malawi to ensure that the occurrence of natural disasters does not affect the lives of people as well as the economy.