President Lazarus Chakwera says he will will swiftly assent to the new Disaster Risk Management Bill which Parliament passed on Wednesday.
Among others, the Bill repeals the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act (Cap. 33:05) and replace it with a new Act in order to align the law with developments in the area of disaster preparedness, risk reduction, and response and recovery.
It also establishes a National Disaster Risk Management Committee which will principally be responsible for providing leadership in the development, coordination and implementation of disaster risk management strategies and interventions.
Chakwera said the new law would deal with disasters such as cyclone Freddy induced disasters, decisively.
Taking to the podium, Paramount Chief Kyungu said Chakwera has demonstrated that he is father of the nation by visiting all affected places in the country.
“We have a serious hunger situation here, people are suffering.
“We ask you to ensure that the Minister of Agriculture stays here until all Admarc depots have maize.
“For my people who will harvest a little something, let us keep that food. If you love money a lot and sell all what you harvest, expect disaster. So please, keep the harvest,” he said.
District Commissioner for Karonga Rorick Mateauma says each household will receive a 50 kilogram bag of maize, and the exercise has already started.
Mateauma says they have so far reached out to some families under Traditional Authority Wasambo, Kyungu and Kilupula.
They will also provide relief items to those under Traditional Authority Mwakawoko.
Agriculture Minister Sam Kawale has also stressed the need to revamp irrigation farming, by renovating some schemes like Lufirya.
Kawale said the Japanese Government has said it is ready to help on Lufirya scheme, but will also construct a dam.
According to Mateauma, Karonga had received early rains on November 22, 2022, December 10, 2022 before abruptly stopping on January 28, 2023.
Rains only restarted two months later on March 11,2023, thereby triggering one of the worst droughts in the history of the country.