Malawi Defence Force rescue team deployed to flood prone Nsanje

The Malawi Defense Force (MDF) rescue team under the Marine Department has been deployed to Nsanje district in preparedness for any possible flooding.

The development comes after the Department of Metrological Services and Climate Change forecasted that the current rainy season will have above normal rains hence fears of possible water flooding in the lower shire districts.

Nsanje District Commissioner (DC) Gift Rapozo confirmed Monday the arrival of the officers and their equipment saying he is optimistic that there will not be severe flood disasters this year as compared to last year.

Let me confirm that a MDF rescue team under marine department has been deployed in the district. They have come with equipment including two dingy boats, one rubber boat and 40 life jackets which are being positioned in strategic centers which include; Nsanje, Bangula and Makhanga, the DC said.

The rescue teams comprising; seven officers including Skippers, divers, Safety officers and engineers have already been deployed to the centers.

According to MDF sources, a dingy boat carries a maximum number of 40 people whereas the rubber boat accommodates 15 people.

Rapozo hailed the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) for facilitating the move saying the officers and equipment are crucial for effective response to any potential flooding.

The timely deployment of rescue teams and also the delivery of equipment will help save more lives should the floods strike. In the 2015 January floods, the equipment and officers were deployed when things had already gotten worse, and this affected the district’s flood response, he explained.

DoDMA Spokesperson Jeremiah Mphande said it is the government’s wish to ensure that this year’s disaster response is done effectively hence the deployment of MDF rescue teams in the lower shire district.

He revealed that government has also preposition helicopters to MDF camp in Blantyre where an emergency centre has been instituted ready for any occurrence.

We struck a deal with MDF through government to ensure that MDF rescue teams be deployed in advance to districts which are prone to disasters particularly water flooding as the country is experiencing heavy rainfall. Let me also point it out that we have created an emergency centre in Blantyre specifically at MDF camp where issues of disaster response can be coordinated, Mphande said.

In January 2015 the country experienced one of the worst flooding disasters in recent history killing 176 people, displacing 200,000 others with Nsanje and Chikwawa district being the worst affected.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA