About 5,000 people are still living in evacuation camps despite the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) advising them to relocate by May 31.

Principal Secretary and commissioner in Dodma, Wilson Moleni, confirmed the development.

He said the department set May 31 as the day floods survivors that are living in camps were to relocate to their areas or higher ground.

But our investigations reveal that 5,000 people are still camping at six camps in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts.

“It is true that 5,000 families in six camps are yet to relocate to their homes.

“We wonder as to why they have not relocated because we already gave them resources for them to start afresh. We will send the director to find out why these people have not relocated,” he said.

Moleni says his department would continue to assist people who have relocated till month-end of June.

But he says the aid will not be given in camps.

Moleni added that Dodma was working with its partners to find a lasting solution to ensure that problems associated with floods are mitigated.

“We will also engage chiefs so that people that are in flood-prone areas can relocate to high ground,” he said.

According to Dodma, at least 81, 000 people that were affected by floods and were living in camps have relocated.

Others, especially those that were being sheltered at Mwalija camp in Chikwawa District, have relocated to new settlements on a higher ground.

Floods that hit the country’s Central and Southern districts in early March killed at least 60 people and rendered over 800, 000 homeless.

About 173 camps were set up to temporarily shelter the homeless.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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