Thursday, December 17, 2009

Malawi sends SOS for Karonga quake victims

Some of the damaged houses and items for the displaced in Karonga that President Bingu wa Mutharika saw when he visited the disaster prone area on Monday.

By Lucy Liponda

The government has called for urgent appeals for relief items for the people in the lakeshore northern region district of Karonga.

The people were struck by several earthquakes that shook the area last week.

Malawi President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika visited the displaced people on Monday where he made a donation of MK2.5 million, pledged more government support and appealed for assistance from well wishers.

In a press statement issued in the administrative capital, Lilongwe, Thursday, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs in the Office of President and Cabinet and made available to Malawi Digest said that as a result of the increasing number of people and their increasing needs, government is appealing for assistance from well wishers including individuals, companies, institutions, agencies and non-governmental organisations.

“The assistance will help alleviate the suffering amongst the affected people,” says the statement signed by Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Lilian Ng’oma.

The department says that among many other items, the assistance required include the following: maize flour, matemba/kapenta fish, beans, iodised kitchen salt, Likuni phala, cooking oil, milk, sugar, corn soya blend, tents for shelter and to be used as classrooms, blankets, plastic sheets, plastic plates, plastic cups, spoons, matches, firewood, candles, jericans and building materials among many others.

The department says that donations can be made through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Private Bag 336, Lilongwe 3 or directly to the District Commissioner for Karonga.

The statement says that all cheques should be made payable to the “National Disaster Appeal Fund”.
Karonga experienced earth quakes on 6th, 7th and December, 2009.

According the Department of Management Affairs, the earth quakes killed one person, injured several people and caused damage to people’s houses and infrastructure.

The department says that so far, 3,047 households in Traditional Authorities Kyungu, Kilupula and Mwakaboko have been affected and that their houses have either collapsed or have developed cracks.

The earth quakes have also displaced 3,000 people, whose villages have developed big cracks on the ground, rendering the area unstable and therefore not safe for habitation.

“A camp has been established for the displaced people. The earth quakes have also damaged institutional infrastructure such as school blocks, teachers’ houses, police houses, health centres and boreholes,” says the department.

The department says that the impact of the earth quake is still being undertaken by the District Assembly, hence the number of affected people is expected to increase-Malawi Digest.

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