The VP was speaking after inspecting Nogwe and Thuchila dykes as well as Thuchira Health Centre in Mulanje. The projects are under Malawi Flood Emergency Recovery Project with support from the World Bank.
Speaking at Mbande community ground in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Juma in Mulanje after the tour, Chimulirenji expressed gratitude to the World Bank for the timely support rendered to Government during the disaster response and recovery phase, saying it is responsible for major infrastructural developments in the country.
“The newly built Thuchila Health Centre will ease some of the challenges communities were facing when accessing medical services following the 2015 floods that affected the old health centre in the area,” he said.
The Vice President added that: “The dykes have proved to have reduced the impact of disasters along Thuchila River during the rainy season when the river overflows.”
Chimulirenji thanked World Bank for assuring government that it would continue to ensure that the support is used for its intended purpose.
He advised contractors to refrain from corrupt practices when building such structures, noting that the tendency leads to substandard work.
World Bank senior disaster risk management specialist for Malawi, Francis Nkoka, said the World Bank is committed to provide assistance to the people in the country during the lean period until those that were affected recovered from the shock.
“As World Bank we have been assisting the country during the 2015 floods, the 2016 drought and now with the recent floods through the Malawi Flood Emergency Recovery Project (MFERP),” he said.
Nkoka expressed concern with quality of some of the projects, saying: “Some of the structures that were built recently have already collapsed like the dyke at Nogwe because there was minimal participation on the part of communities and the district council and the contractor alike.”
He stressed the need for communities, traditional leaders and district councils to work together with contractors from the design phase until construction works are completed.
Nkoka disclosed that the Bank has allocated US$50 million for rehabilitation and construction of various infrastructures which were damaged across the country and for livelihood activities to promote resilience.
TA Juma thanked government and its partners for the support given to his subjects following the recent March 2019 and 2015 disasters, saying a lot of people living along Thuchila River are constantly affected by floods when the river breaks its banks.
“During the rainy season all the water accumulating from the mountain flows downstream destroying property and crops leaving my subjects vulnerable to hunger. The construction of the dyke will minimize the extent of damage in future,” he observed.