At least 5, 201 households have been affected by disasters in 19 districts across the country since the onset of rains in October this year (2017).
Department of Disaster Management Affairs Public Relations Officer, Chipiliro Khamula said the department has since recorded three deaths from collapsing of walls and lightning.
“The deaths involved a 12-year old girl, 17-year-old boy and an elderly person whose age has not yet been established. We also recorded 51 injuries,” he said.
Khamula attributed the disasters to stormy rains, hailstorms and strong winds that have caused damage to houses, household property, infrastructure, human injuries and loss of lives across the country.
“Since October 12, 2017 to November 30, 2017, a cumulative total of 28,000 people in 5,201 households have been stuck by disasters in Mchinji, Lilongwe, Dedza, Dowa, Ntcheu, Salima, Kasungu and Nkhotakota in the Central Region.
“In the Southern Region, disasters have struck Mulanje, Zomba, Mwanza, Phalombe, Machinga, Mangochi and Chiradzulu. The North has Chitipa, Rumphi, Karonga and Nkhata Bay as the affected districts,” he said.
Khamula then said the department is distributing food and non –food items such as plastic sheets, pails, cups and salt to the affected households.
He also disclosed that the department has prepositioned and stockpiled relief items in Lilongwe, Ntcheu and Blantyre districts to reach out to more beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, DODMA has put in place measures to reduce the risk of natural disasters which, among others, include promoting community-based early warning systems in which the communities themselves will warn each other of impending disasters, thereby reducing disaster impacts.
“Apart from this, the department in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is also working on disseminating safer housing and construction guidelines to local artisans and communities in order to have durable and strong houses that can withstand impacts of disaster,” he said.
Government allocated MK1.2 billion for disaster response operations during the 2017/2018 budget in order to respond to the disasters impact.