Chikwawa CSOs warn of corrupt practices in Disaster Response

Chikwawa CSOs warn of corrupt practices in Disaster Response

On Thursday, Chikwawa Civil Society Network took turns and offered a stern warning against all bad and corrupt practices in the management of Cyclone Ana disaster response in the district. The CSO leaders drew from past experience to caution unscrupulous individuals who usually take advantage of disaster occurrences to advance personal interests.

The district CSO network made the remarks during a press briefing which they organized in the lower Shire district which is perhaps the most affected area. Speaking on the sidelines of the briefing, Chairperson of the Network, Lewis Msiyadungu, said the CSO network is duty bound to ensure that every disaster donation meets its intended purpose, which is to alleviate the discomforts brought forth by the tropical storm.

“In times like these, some people would mobilize disaster funds and resources but, in the end, divert them to their homes and pockets. There are also some bad practices which tend to occur at community level including deliberate unfair and inequitable distribution of relief items. The CSO network is quite vigilant and will put to task all individuals involved in such malpractices”

Msiyadungu further appealed to both national and International organization to consult local structures and stakeholders in providing aid to affected households. He argues that the tendency of bypassing district stakeholders has further aggravated unfair and imbalanced distribution of relief items.

“We would love if there was more coordination in the provision of disaster response in which case every organization or individuals of good make proper consultations of where to take their donations to. Failure to do this will land us into a situation where some affected communities have been immensely assisted while others have gotten minimal if not none of the donations”

Indeed, as the remarks were being made, there were concerns from some evacuation camps which, purportedly, had not been reached with assistance despite many organizations and individuals posting of providing relief items in evacuation camps.

Part of disaster caused by Cyclone ANA

The statement dated 10th February has overly called for concerted efforts in responding to the disaster, with consideration to both short term and long-term impact of the disaster. It also offered a foresight over issues of human rights as well as women and child protection. It, in this regard, called upon all CSOs to be vigilant in safeguarding the welfare of women and children.

On a different note, Anderson Biliati, the CSOs Network vice chairperson bemoaned a tragic accident which had occurred at. The accident claimed three lives. There are reports that there were no road signs placed at the place after flooding waters slid apart the road. It is hence the position of the network that responsible departments should have inserted warnings signs at the place.

“We may understand that the storm came with unprecedented damage such that governments departments and everyone else were overwhelmed. We nevertheless, expect responsible entities to act with speed on specific areas like in this case putting road signs where roads were cut by the flooding waters”

The cyclone Ana hailstorm has displaced over 25 thousand households in Chikwawa and damaged over a thousand hectares of crop fields. To this date, 26 people are confirmed dead while 19 are still missing.