The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) says it is committed to supporting district and city councils towards the relocation of people living in disaster-prone areas.

Secretary and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Wilson Moleni made the commitment in Blantyre on Friday (7th June, 2019) when he presided over a one-day district and city councils’ consultative meeting on the relocation and resettlement of people living in disaster-prone areas.

“If we do not find permanent solutions to disasters, we will be talking about the provision of relief items year in and year out, to the same areas. The country cannot make significant progress because resources that would have been channeled towards development will end up being channeled towards disaster response and provision of relief aid.

“We need to seriously look into moving people to safer areas. If the councils can identify safer places, DoDMA will work and support them on the relocation and resettlement process. Relocation and resettlement is a process that cannot be completed in a single day, but there’s need to take serious steps towards this,” said Moleni, who also informed delegates that the country needs US$370.5 million to fully recover from the damages and losses caused by the March 2019 floods.

The meeting has brought together 11 district and two city councils from the southern region who are discussing how best to implement the relocation and resettlement processes for people living in disaster prone areas.

The department is expected to hold a similar meeting with councils from the central and northern regions, next week.

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