President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera on Sunday carried out engagements in the Lower Shire district of Chikwawa where he among other things visited flood victims before attending memorial prayers for former cabinet minister late Sidik Mia.
The President, accompanied by the First Lady Madam Monica Chakwera, visited three camping shelters for flood victims, at Bereu, Nchalo and Jombo in Chikwawa West constituency.
In total there are 16 shelter camps housing over 3,300 households. Chikwawa District Council estimates that these households amount to over 15,000 people.
Among the items given to the affected population were maize, mats, blankets, soap, masks beans, mosquito nets, kitchenware, salt, camping tents and plastic sheets for repairing their houses.
The items were a combined contribution from Government of Malawi and Malawi Red Cross Society whose patron is President Chakwera.
Speaking at the event President Chakwera reiterated his government’s commitment to finding short and long term solutions for people of the Lower Shire who for decades have been affected by perennial floods.
“My administration will offer immediate and long term support to mitigate the effects of floods and rebuild livelihoods of the affected populations. In the short term, institutions and individuals must offer a helping hand in this time of dire need.”
The President echoed the need for Malawi to find sustainable ways of managing the effects of floods on communities in the Lower Shire.
“We must stop the blame game on who is contributing to this problem. Let us collectively find out where we are failing. Government, the private sector and community leaders must coordinate so that any development project in the area does not weaken the already-compromised resilience against flooding,” said the President.
On long term goals to transform livelihoods, the Malawi leader pointed at mega projects currently underway or earmarked for the Lower Shire as a sustainable solution that will spur job and wealth creation.
“My government is implementing two mega projects; The Shire Valley Transformation Programme that focuses on boosting agricultural production through intensive irrigation and a 10,000 -hectare cotton production called Nchalo Greenbelt Limited that is earmarked to help 20,000 farmers. These will boost real income among households in the Lower Shire.”
Later in the day the President and the First Lady attended memorial prayers for late Honourable Sidik Mia at his family home at Ngabu. Honourable Mia died on January 12, 2021 while serving as Malawi Congress Party Vice President and Minister of Transport and Works.
Writing on his official Facebook page, President Chakwera remembered Mia as a positive contributor in many aspects.
“I fondly remember him not only as a fellow politician. He was primarily a brother, confidant and advisor whose immeasurable contribution to the party and the nation remain indelible to this day. As someone who lived a selfless and patriotic life, Honourable Mia left with us valuable lessons that we must imitate to build a new Malawi.”
Before returning to Sanjika Palace, the President addressed people at Ngabu Primary School where he promised Malawians of continued development through infrastructure development and investment friendly policies.