Chakwera Calls for Unity to Restore Malawi after Cyclone Freddy
President Lazarus Chakwera has called on Malawians not to politicise the effects of Cyclone Freddy but work together to achieve a greater length in restoring the country back to its economic functioning state.
Speaking in parliament Wednesday in a presidential statement on ‘Operation Tigwilane Manja’ which seeks to rebuild the livelihood of the victims of Cyclone Freddy, Chakwera emphasised on the strength and hope that comes with unity.
“We cannot afford to mourn with our arms folded and we cannot afford to fight as fragmented groups. However, we must together roll out our sleeves and get to work. We must take necessary steps now for safeguarding a brighter tomorrow for Malawians,” Chakwera said.
In his statement Chakwera mentioned the need to institute an emergency body to coordinate extensive assessment on the damage on lives, public infrastructure, private property, crops and natural landscapes, among other assets.
“Through this body we will surely achieve the proper response to this state of disaster
“The operation will make sure there is proper burial to those who lost their lives and account for those missing, ensure enough shelter for those displaced and give funds to all in need areas and secure more support from international partners and local stakeholders to meet the enormous needs that the country is facing,” He said.
To ensure the humanitarian need, the President said so far 500 camps have been put in place to shelter those homeless, and provision of supplies to those reachable camps has been in motion.
However, the president said the supplies deployed are far from enough for the magnitude in need and in some cases even if the supplies are there, some roads are impassable to reach the people in need.
On a separate note, the state president thanked the World Bank and other institutions as well as individuals for the support they have rendered to the country in its effort to rebuild.
“I am grateful that the World Bank has already committed to work with us on the completion of the assessment and the resource mobilisation for the reconstruction plan that I will bring to you for your support once all the damage assessment is done,” explained Chakwera.
Leader of opposition, Kondwani Nankhumwa concurred with the president, citing effects of Cyclone Freddy are a national tragedy hence there is no room for politicking.
“I commend the President for visiting the affected areas. I request that the President should consider setting up a team to ably work on this, based on professional advice and not political advice,” said Nankhumwa.
He added that human rights abuses to women, children, elderly and people with disabilities in the camps should as well be monitored.
Meanwhile, the death toll from the natural disaster has risen to 507, while 537 people are still missing and 1332 injured, says the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA).
(by Rosalia Kapiri, Malawi News Agency)