By Lusayo Singogo – Mana
Government has a crucial role to play in providing humanitarian assistance to people across the country in order to alleviate problems that come with disasters.
Department of Disaster and Management Affairs (DODMA) Public Relations Officer, Chipiliro Khamula said this Monday in Lilongwe during the distribution exercise to survivors of hailstorm which affected areas were Traditional Authorities (TAs) Chitekwere, Chiseka, Kabudula, Chimutu and Kalumbu.
He said the distribution of relief items to over 500 households whose occupants were rendered homeless following the heavy rainstorms experienced last week in Lilongwe,
Khamula pointed out that the relief items given to each affected household included a 50 kilogrammes bag of maize, plastic bucket, four plates, five cups, beans, soya pieces, salt and plastic sheet.
He said government through DODMA is obliged to lessen human suffering caused by disasters and improve livelihoods in the country by providing support whenever possible.
“There are big problems in the affected areas following the rainstorms which have rendered many homeless and food-less. Over 500 houses were affected with others’ roofs blown off and others completely collapsing.
“DODMA received the report about the disaster from the district council hence government giving such timely assistance of some basic needs to the affected households in order to alleviate the challenges which they are facing and improve lives,” Khamula said.
One of the affected persons, Felista Mbiliyawanda from TA Chiseka expressed deep gratitude to government for the assistance, stressing that it would relieve them of their problems.
“My house together with other properties, such as clothes, beddings, maize flour and kitchen utensils, were damaged due to the rainstorm. This left my family helpless and we have been suffering since.
I want to thank government for restoring our hope with the support. It will go a long way in alleviating our problems,” she stated.
This is the first assistance that the people in the areas have received since the disaster happened.