Thyolo District Council has sent back to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) a list of relief food beneficiaries because some traditional authorities (T/As) were missing on the list.
According to the 2022 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) report, about 3.8 million people in the country will be food insecure during the lean season and that 34 260 households in Thyolo will need relief food.
Following the Mvac report, Dodma last week rolled out a lean season food response programme, targeting five councils of Nsanje, Zomba City, Zomba District, Chikwawa and Balaka.
In Thyolo and other Southern Region districts, the exercise will start in December 2022.
However, during a full council meeting on Thursday, members who included chiefs, councillors and legislators observed that T/As Ngolongoliwa, Boidi and Bvumbwe were missing on the list of beneficiaries.
Masenjele Ward councillor Owen Makonde asked: “Does this indicate that all the people in the missing areas are well off? This is not a true representation of the hunger situation on the ground.”
T/A Boidi said they would not accept the list as it shows that people in the missing T/As are food secure.
On his part, T/A Ngolongoliwa wondered why surrounding areas were on the list of beneficiaries.
But Dodma deputy director Fyaupi Mwafongo said it was not about equal distribution of relief food.
“Some areas are far much better than others. That is why government carried out the assessment to assist those that are in critical need. So it should be about hunger,” he said.
In this regard, the council resolved that the distribution list should be looked again by responsible departments before being adopted.