Chileka Communities Worried After Forcing Maize Sale
Communities surrounding Chileka Admarc Depot in Lilongwe say they are hoping that maize sales continue, after authorities were forced to start selling the maize at the depot.
A member of the community George Kaunda said on Sunday, angry community members intercepted 11 trucks that were loading maize at the depot, purportedly heading for southern region districts where hunger is rumoured to be worse.
Kaunda said people in the area have been sleeping on empty stomachs, so it was surprising to see maize being loaded for elsewhere.
“We wondered where the maize was being taken to because this is not the first time. Upon quizzing them, they said people in the southern districts are suffering so they were taking the maize there,” said Kaunda.
He added, “But people have the same problem here, and are buying from vendors at very high prices. We decided it is fair to start selling the maize as soon as possible. And now we are happy that we have maize at affordable prices.”
Another community member Tionge Phiri said people in the area have been struggling with hunger and that it was unfortunate that Admarc did not open the market.
“It pains us to see maize being taken away when we have the same problem. We eat maize husks. Our children are suffering so government should consider bringing more maize in case this stock is finished,” Phiri said.
An agriculture expert Tamani Nkhono Mvula said that government has an obligation to ensure that Malawians have enough food despite indications that Admarc does not have enough stock.
“We have heard that Admarc has no maize. And the fact that maize is being transferred from Lilongwe is an indication they really do not have stock. However it is government’s mandate to ensure that all Malawians have sufficient food, and that they should easily access it,” said Mvula.
Chileka Admarc Depot serves villages in Lilongwe Mapuyu South and North respectively.