By Tawonga Moyo & Tionge Kampondeni MANA

President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has assured households which have been affected by prolonged dry spell in Karonga District that government will do everything to assist them until next growing season.

Chakwera was addressing people on Friday at Mwakabaye Village in the area of Paramount Chief Kyungu in Karonga after visiting a sample of fields which have been affected by the disaster in the district.

“I really wanted to come and witness and have firsthand information on the reports which I have been receiving about the dry spell here. I sympathise with you. Your crops have dried up. Let me assure you that government will help you. We are with you during this difficult time,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera then challenged government officials to work with speed when disasters strike instead of spending much time on planning.

He then urged the Ministry of Agriculture to rehabilitate all irrigation schemes and promote water harvesting for irrigation besides establishing additional irrigation schemes across the district.

Speaking in the area of Senior Chief Kilupula, District Commissioner for Karonga, Rodrick Mateauma thanked government for sending relief maize to the district in response to the disaster.

Member of Parliament for Karonga North Constituency, Mungasuwa Mwambande asked government to stalk all Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) deports with maize, saying people, especially women are spending several days and nights at the depots just to get a bag of maize.

In his remarks, Director of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources for Karonga District Council, Raphael Mkisi said the district is expecting to realise 6,000 metric tonnes of maize instead of the usual 40,000 which they get on a normal harvest season.

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