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Thursday, 09 November 2017 14:38

Let’s hope for good rainy season - Chilima

Written by  Tione Andsen
Chilima test flies one of the drones at Capital Hill in Lilongwe - Pic by Abel Ikiloni Chilima test flies one of the drones at Capital Hill in Lilongwe - Pic by Abel Ikiloni

Lilongwe, November 9, 2017:  Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima has expressed hope that this year’s rainy season would not be destructive as it was in 2015.

He said this Wednesday in Lilongwe when he received two drones donated by the Chinese Embassy to be used by Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA).

Chilima said the rainy season is about to start and, Lilongwe and Mchinji had received rains which were accompanied by thunderstorms that affected and extensively damaged trees and houses.

“Let us pray that we have good rains for the country. I know it is hard to get prepared for a disaster because they come in different forms with variations to the extent of damages,” he said.

The Vice President said DoDMA with stakeholders in the management of disasters are just planning for any eventualities.

“DoDMA working in partnership with Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Police, Red Cross and Fire Brigades in responding to emergencies during rainy season,” he pointed out.

Chilima said there is need to re-activate disaster management committees in the districts to start their work as one way of getting prepared.   

The Vice President said rescue boats are being shifted to flood prone areas and the department is keeping stock of emergency materials like blankets, food and shelters. 

He said disaster management becomes harder in hard-to- reach areas where operations are normally hampered.

Chilima explained that the donation of the drones forms part of the planning process by the DoDMA to ensure that they would be ready to respond to any emergencies that could hit the country during the rainy season.

“ We are happy we have acquired the two drones and our staff would require to be trained on how to operate them and be sure that the data would be collected and analyzed correctly,’ he viewed.

The 2015 season saw flooding taking place at Masasa in Mzuzu and Chilobwe in Blantyre where lives were lost.

Early this year, another flooding occurred in Ntandire township in Lilongwe where Nankhaka River flooded and destroyed houses and claimed lives.

For the past years, the country was only considering Karonga, Salima, Chikwawa and Nsanje as flood- prone areas but as of late, things are now changing where unexpected areas are being affected with flooding owing to another other factors related to environmental management.