Flooding Wrecks Havoc in Southern Malawi
Continuous heavy rains hitting Malawi since last Saturday have caused severe flooding in 17 administrative districts with reported deaths of at least 10 people while over 60,000 people have been displaced after their houses were washed away by the floods.
The worst hit districts are Chikwawa, Nsanje, Mangochi and Zomba with Chikwawa alone accounting for 25,000 displaced people. Apart from houses, several roads in some parts of the affected areas have been rendered impassable, thereby making efforts to provide relief items extremely difficult.
Officials at the Ministry of Agriculture estimate that 3000 hectares of cultivated field have been washed away in Chikwawa alone which means people will have to replant after the rains.
Meanwhile, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs appeals for additional funding, after having already exhausted its budget allocation of US$300,000. Officials said they were seeking further US$200,000 in order to enable its workforce to adequately respond to the crisis.
So far, several non-governmental organisations including World Vision Malawi and the Malawi Red Cross Society have moved in quickly to help people receive relief items but they are being overwhelmed by the huge number of victims.
Some of the displaced people are being temporarily sheltered in church buildings and school classrooms. Meteoroligical experts are warning that the country is likely to continue receiving heavy rains in the next days.