Plant more trees to avoid adverse effects of climate change: VP

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Malawi's Vice President Everton Chimulirenji says planting trees in Malawi’s disaster prone areas is the only lasting solution to climate change induced disasters.

Chimulirenji  distributing relief food items  to families affected by strong winds at Matundu Primary School in Ntcheu Chimulirenji distributing relief food items to families affected by strong winds at Matundu Primary School in Ntcheu

Chimulirenji said this on Friday when he visited families affected by strong winds at Matundu primary school in Traditional Authority Ganya in Ntcheu.

The area was hit by strong winds from  November 7-23, rendering 1174 households homeless. Among the affected were 116 elderly and 54 chronically ill people,  according to Director of Disaster Management, Wilson Moleni.

The strong winds also took off roofs from a number of classrooms at Matundu primary school, a situation that has disturbed education in the school’s catchment area.

"Such disasters could have been avoided if the areas had green cover, the VP said.

“The adverse effects of climate change are taking a toll on Malawi. The only way out is to plant more trees and also moving away from the disaster prone areas such as low lands,” said Chimulirenji.

On hunger, Chimulirenji, who is also Minister responsible for Department of Disaster and Management Affairs (Dodma)  said just as President Professor Peter Mutharika has indicated on more than one occasion, no one would die of hunger as long as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) remains in power.

“This is why government is distributing 8129 tonnes of relief maize to those affected by disasters  to all districts across the country alongside the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) program that runs up to March next year because government is aware of the situation on the ground,” he said.

Concuring with the vice president, Moleni, Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani and Inkosi Ganya, all said time has come for Malawians to join hands in planting and caring of trees if the country is to win a war against climate change.  

Among others, the affected people were assisted with 50 kilograms of maize, plastic roofing sheets, salt and kitchen utensils.

Ntcheu Mwanza, Dowa, Kasungu, Salima, Nkhotakota and Balaka are among the districts that were affected by stormy rains during the first rains this year.

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