The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) on Sunday (20th December, 2020) provided relief assistance to households recently affected by flash floods in Mangochi, almost 48 hours after receiving an official report on the disaster from the District Council.
A total of 144 households were affected by flash floods following heavy rains that poured on 16th December, causing serious damages to houses mostly around Makawa area, T/A Mponda.
Speaking during the provision of relief items to the affected people, DoDMA’s Chief Relief and Rehabilitation Officer, Fyawupi Mwafongo called for coordination and promptness in conducting disaster assessments and submitting reports to the department.
“The council conducted assessments on the 17th of December and immediately submitted a report to the department on the 18th of December. There is good coordination between the local disaster committees, the council and DoDMA and we urge all councils to emulate the gesture, if we were to be responding to the needs of the affected people on time,” said Mwafongo.
He then called upon the general public take heed of early warning messages being provided by the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services to save lives and property as well as to avoid cultivating along river banks, a malpractice he stressed aggravates siltation, leading to floods in most areas.
In his remarks, Director of Administration at Mangochi District Council Dominic Mwandira hailed the department for the prompt response.
“Your [DoDMA’s] timeliness in responding to the needs of the affected people is encouraging. We have received relief assistance just two days after submitting the report,” said Mwandira.
Member of Parliament for the area (Mangochi Central) Victoria Kingstone, concurred with Mwandira and hailed government for the prompt response.
Since July, 2020, DoDMA has reached out to 10,910 households with relief assistance. The package included food and non-food items such as maize/rice, beans, plastic sheets for temporary roofing, kitchen utensil (cups, plates, and buckets).
A total of 12,031 houses have been affected and 23 deaths have been registered (of which 20 died after being hit by lightning. The department has also recorded 166 injuries.
The department, in collaboration with various humanitarian partners, will reach out to all the affected people.