Govt to Support People Affected by Disaster in Dedza

Principal Secretary in the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), Clement Chinthu Phiri, said on Monday government will support households that have been affected by rainstorm in Traditional Authority Kamenyagwaza in Dedza.

He was speaking when he visited group village headmen Nkhungumbe and Kapenuka’s areas to appreciate the damage done to crops due to the rainstorm which occurred 2nd January, 2018.

“We have seen the damage that has been done here, it’s so devastating because 139 hectares of crops have been damaged and according to a report from the agriculture office, the crops can no longer survive to be harvested,” said Phiri.

He therefore said government would give all the support needed for people in the area once they (government) have received a full assessment report from Dedza District Council.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), Dedza District Agriculture Development Officer (DADO), Osmund Chapotoka, said 379 hectares of crop fields have been damaged and 1264 people affected.

Affected crops include tomato, maize and Irish potatoes which have greatly been damaged.

“This is a very big problem because not only have the crops been damaged by the rainstorm, but have also been hit by the fall army worms, another cause that will make the rate of crop survival very minimal,” said Chapotoka.

State President Arthur Peter Mutharika declared the country a state of disaster in December, 2017 due to maize attack by the fall army worms. With that declaration, a number of partners have come in to support the Government of Malawi to deal with the situation by providing chemicals to deal with the pest.

T.A. Kamenyagwaza expressed gratitude to the Principal Secretary for availing himself to the rainstorm-ravaged site to appreciate the situation. He urged government to provide affected people with cassava cuttings and sweet potato vines to plant as soon as possible to avoid hunger in the area.

Among the people who accompanied the Principal Secretary was the Director of Response and Recovery from DODMA, Dedza District Commissioner and staff from the district council.