Paramount Chief Lundu of Chikwawa has accused Illovo Sugar Company of worsening floods in the district through some of its activities on the land close to residential areas.
The paramount chief was speaking Saturday when Vice-President Herbert Chimulirenji visited households affected by flash floods at Matsukambiya Camp in the district.
Lundu described the disaster experienced in the area as man-made by the Illovo Sugar Company.
“The company has created gullies close to residential places which are initiating the occurrence of floods in the area. As such, we plead with government to intervene so as to minimise such incidences,” he said.
There was no immediate comment from the company on the claims by the Paramount Chief.
However, environmentalists attribute the flash floods to wanton cutting down of trees by communities along rivers, a situation that disturbs the rivers’ courses.
Addressing the affected people at the camp, Chimulilenji said President Peter Mutharika was saddened with the natural calamity that has rendered many people destitute.
“We are aware that the recent flash floods have rendered children, disabled men and women as well as the elderly hopeless.
“Let me assure you that government will not leave you alone in this trying time. We will work tirelessly to support every affected household with relief items to alleviate immediate needs,” said the Vice-President who is also Minister responsible for Disaster Management Affairs.
During the event, the vice-president donated relief items comprising 50-kilogramme bag of maize or rice, soya pieces, plastic sheet and buckets, among others.
Chimulilenji commended Malawi Red Cross and other organisations for complementing government efforts in providing timely assistance to the affected households in the district.
Paramount Chief Lundu thanked government for the relief items saying the package would improve the wellbeing of the affected people.
A report from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) indicates that 2188 families in the district were affected by the flash floods following persistent rains that the country received from January 20 to 22.