Residents of the Traditional Authority (TA) Nyachikadza in Nsanje district have pleaded government to construct a dyke and provide them with a large boat for them to repatriate survivors of floods to upland areas once disasters strike.
The survey done by the local non-governmental organization, Concern Worldwide and presented to the District Civil Protection Committee (DCPC) indicated that people in the area are in dire need of a dyke along Shire River so that they can be protected from persistent floods which hit the area year in year out.
Another part of the survey said communities there need story houses so that they can seek refuge during flooding but they don’t have funding for the same.
Traditional Authority Nyachikadza said the revelations were all true as they don’t have other places to call home except the area of his jurisdiction.
He further said the dyke will help them protect their crops from being washed away while the boat will be used to ferry survivors of floods to places like Bitilinyu Camp in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Ndamera when disasters happen.
Nyachikadza Area Civil Protection Committee chairperson, Shadreck Nyamtontholo echoed the sentiments saying what they need now is to be equipped on how best they can operate and manage the boat.
Responding to the concerns, Nsanje District council Spokesperson, Robert Nayeja, said as council they respect principles of democracy.
He called on people of Nyachikadza to take the matter of a dyke through proper channels like Area Development Committee (ADC) then services committee who will take it to district full council for endorsement.
Said Nayeja: “We have six boats in our custody which we use during floods and we are always being assisted by other stakeholders including the Malawi Defense Force, Irish Africa and others so we can not send any boat to Nyachikadza since experts for operation are always available at the council.”
“On story building, we can not recommend it since it requires more and expensive materials which our council cannot manage. So, we don’t need to recommend something that would turn to be a death trap for our beloved citizens,” he said
In 1997, former president Dr. Bakili Muluzi instructed Nsanje District Council to stop providing developments to the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Nyachikadza saying it is a disaster prone area, but Malawi Law Society president Mzati Kidney Mbeko said this was unconstitutional as people in the area are being deprived of opportunities.(SVN)