Floods disaster budget swells to K52 bn.


THE cost of the disaster relief response has risen to K52 billion from the K38 billion that Government announced last week after preliminary damage assessments.

Government’s financial requirements to implement the 2007 National Contingency Plan in the 34 flood-hit districts went up and could rise further because of the extensive damage to road infrastructure hit by flush floods in the past two weeks.

Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Vice-President, Austin Sichinga, announced at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the cost of implementing the contingency plan had risen and that Government had started working on over 38 crossing points which were damaged across the country.

“Earlier, we announced that we will need about K38 billion. But it has come to our attention that there is a lot of money needed to work on the damaged infrastructure especially bridges,” Dr Sichinga said.

Dr Sichinga said the net financial requirements for implementing the contingency plan was K52,002,810,120 (US$13,005,703). Of this, the major sector would be water that required a total of K18,057,000,000 (US$4,514,250).

The repair of infrastructure would require K14, 490,992,000 while the cost of providing food to improve nutrition among flood-affected people might go up to K7, 527,666,120.

Educational services would cost K6, 388,000,00, shelter K3, 988,644,000, and health would gobble K734, 108,000. The budget for meteorology was estimated at K307, 400,000.

Dr Sichinga was worried that there had not been significant investment in meteorology and this resulted in the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to have little or no knowledge about when rivers were expected to be flooded.

He said there were no meters in many districts of the country for use by the Meteorological Department to do the weather forecasts and be able to tell when rivers would be flooded.

He encouraged donors to indicate to DMMU their intention to donate relief supplies well in advance to enable Government plan for utilisation of the resources.

And Dr Sichinga said the Ministry of Finance and National Planning had released funds for rehabilitation of over 38 bridges around the country.

The European Union has contributed six million euros to help with the rehabilitation of roads and bridges in North-Western Province that were destroyed by floods last rainy season.

Government had sent mealie meal, kapenta and beans to the people affected by floods in Mazabuka.

The DMMU was also in the process of releasing funds to various district disaster management committees in affected areas to support their preparedness and response capabilities.

Motorised boats have been mobilised from Mazabuka and Mumbwa to support the possible relocation of some households that might need evacuation from certain islands in Monze.

“It is important to note that comprehensive response intervention is awaiting detailed reports from affected districts as the current figures that are flying around in terms of affected populations leave much to be desired,” he said.

And DMMU national coordinator, Dominiciano Mulenga, said Government was facing the challenge of a cultural element among some affected villagers in Southern Province.

Mr Mulenga said some villagers had refused to leave their waterlogged shelters built in the middle of the bush for fear of leaving their livestock unattended to.

“This is a big challenge to Government. However, we are working with local traditional leaders in addressing the problem,” Mr Mulenga said.

There were also reports of fishermen who were refusing to be relocated, preferring to remain in areas where there was much water believing a lot of fish stayed in deep water.

Meanwhile, the latest crop weather bulletin says Munyumbwe has recorded the highest surplus rainfall of 202 percent followed by Chipepo that has 141 percent, Maamba 138 percent, Moorings 114 and Magoye 107 percent.

Other stations with significant rainfall are Sinazeze (99 percent), Gwembe 88, Mount Makulu 70, Chipata 67, Chitongo 65 and Lusaka International Airport 62 percent.

Lundazi district in Eastern Province has recorded the highest rainfall deficit of 31 percent.

[Daily Mail]


  1. Gents let s use the money for its intended purpose. Learn to be smart. I agree with the Presindent’s stance againist corruption

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