Malawi is a state of disaster -Chakwera – Capital Radio Malawi
21 April, 2024

Malawi is a state of disaster -Chakwera

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 03, 2020 Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President Lazarus Chakwera (L), who is the 2nd petitioner in the Malawi Elecions Case, waits to be screened by security at the Lilongwe High Court, where constitutional court judges will preside over the ruling on whether to annul the controversial vote that saw Malawi President Peter Mutharika re-elected in the May 2019 election, in Lilongwe. - Lazarus Chakwera told AFP in an interview that the annulation of the May 2019 vote vindicated their long held suspicion that elections in the country of 18 million people, had for decades not been free and fair. (Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA / AFP) (Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

President Lazarus Chakwera has declared Malawi a state of disaster following the prevailing hunger situation in 23 of the country’s 28 districts.

Chakwera made the declaration on Saturday night in his national address and appealed to development partners, the international community, relevant UN agencies and the World Bank to provide humanitarian response.

According to the president, inadequate rains, floods and prolonged dry spell caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon have severely damaged crops and the prospects of food production.

“Close to two million farming households and 749,113 hectares of maize have been affected, representing 44.3 percent of the national crop area. Other important crops like rice, soya beans, cowpeas, and groundnuts have also been affected,” said Chakwera citing a preliminary report from the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC).

“This is devastating. It would have been devastating enough if this was the first disaster to befall us in recent times. But unfortunately, in the four years that I have been your President, this is the fourth time I have had to declare a State of Disaster,” he lamented.

He extended the appeal for food donation to the local private sector Members of Parliament and all those who have any resources in cash or kind to spare, to avail those resources as donations to the Presidential Initiative to Stop Hunger.

According to Chakwera, the donations will be coordinated his office through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs and close to 600,000 metric tonnes of maize valued at k357.6 billion is required for the response program.

He therefore spoke out against blame game and called for unity despite the prevailing panic and fear over the hunger situation.

“There is no one in this country who is at fault for any of the disasters that keep coming against us. But if we stand united and put away the politics of pettiness and negativity to confront this latest disaster, there is no one in this country who should die because of hunger,” he appealed.

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