BY AISHA AMIDU, MANA
Members of Parliament have requested government through the Ministry of Disaster and Relief Management for urgent responses to needs of food and other relief services during natural disasters.
The call was made Tuesday after some legislators observed that in some cases there are delays in responding to emergency needs by the responsible ministry when disasters occur in some areas.
Responding on behalf of the Minister for Disasters and Relief Management who was not present in the house, Minister of Homeland Security, Nicholas Dausi said the Government of Malawi was aware of the acute shortage of food that has come due to low and heavy rainfall that have damaged crops in some parts of the country.
“The Ministry responsible for Disaster and Relief Management through the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) has already started distributing relief food items in areas that were reported to have been hit by hunger,” he said.
MVAC report showed that an estimated number of 1 879 391 people were food insecure in January 2020, a rise from 1, 062 674 estimated as of May, 2019.
Despite the Ministry trying its best to distribute relief items in areas that have encountered natural disasters, some constituencies get delayed response to disaster and relief management, according to some legislators.
Dedza West MP, Phillipo Chinkhondo asked for clarity on the selection criteria and the mode of communication that the ministry uses to allocate relief items, claiming that many areas, including Dedza West are left unattended despite being hit by the natural disasters.
Nsanje North MP, Esther Mcheka Chilenje and Machinga East MP Esther Jolobala echoed similar sentiments.
In his response, Dausi said the Ministry of Natural Disasters and Relief Management takes action on the verified reports that have been sent so the commissioner on areas that have been hit with natural disasters .