Malawi has profoundly thanked Zambia for rendering financial and material assistance towards easing the devastation caused by floods in that country in the past few weeks.
Malawi President Peter Mutharika said his country was deeply indebted to the Zambia government for rendering financial assistance and tents to help people that were affected by floods.Professor Mutharika said this yesterday when he and President Edgar Lungu held bilateral talks in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia where they are both attending the 24th African Union summit.
“We have gone through a very difficult situation. You have been following the floods in Malawi, very devastating and about 120 people reported missing,” he said adding that, “it is just wrenching to see what has happened there”.
President Mutharika estimated the loss of infrastructure and other things to between US$60 and US$70 million (about 23 billion Malawian Kwacha).
He said his government would require about US$90 million to reconstruct what has been lost in the floods.“But I want to thank the government of Zambia for the assistance you gave us both in money and also in tents,” he said.
President Mutharika noted that Zambia’s assistance was an indication of sacrifice as she was also struggling financially.
“I look forward to working together especially in the area of infrastructure and transport. As you know we are landlocked,” he said.
And President Lungu conveyed Zambia’s condolences to Malawi on the death of over 100 people in floods. Mr. Lungu prayed that Professor Mutharika and his government would find solace in the aid his country was receiving towards mitigating the ravage the floods caused. He said Zambia and Malawi were closely linked in culture, language and other areas.
President Lungu noted that the two countries should learn best practices from each other so as to enhance their economic development.
“I am glad that traditionally, our chiefs have been interacting very well, learning from each other the best practices and I think this is as it should be,” he said.
President Lungu said his government recognises that chiefs are part of the governance institution hence the need to allow them to learn and share best practices from each other in the two countries.
Mr. Lungu was flanked in the talks by Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba, Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde and Minister of Arts and Tourism, Jean Kapata who is in Addis Ababa in her capacity as Acting Minister of Gender.
Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Susan Sikaneta was also present during the bilateral talks.
President Mutharika was accompanied by his Minister of Gender, Women and Children’s Welfare Patricia Kaliati.