Climate, environnement and water.

Flash Floods in Malawi Claim One Life and Displace 7000 People.

By Leonard Masauli, Correspondent 

Lilongwe, March 1, 2024 -Persistent heavy downpours in Nkhotakota districts have led to flash floods in Malawi, resulting in one fatality and displacing 7000 individuals, according to a Press Release from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) issued on Thursday afternoon.

he Press Release, signed by Commissioner for DODMA, Charles Kalemba, urges residents in flood-prone areas to seek refuge in higher ground while the Malawi Defence Force continues to provide life-saving interventions in affected communities.

Kalemba reported that one person lost their life when their canoe capsized due to high water levels.

The heavy rains, particularly around Dwangwa in Nkhotakota, have caused extensive damage to roads and hindered essential service delivery in the district.

“Meanwhile, a National Search And Rescue (SAR) team led by the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) is actively engaged in providing life-saving interventions,” Kalemba stated.

He further mentioned that over 900 individuals trapped in various areas have been rescued thus far. The SAR team is also distributing relief items, including maize flour and tents, previously dispatched by the department, along with medical personnel and supplies/equipment to areas in urgent need.

The aftermath of the flash floods at Dwangwa Market. Picture from third parties

In addition to the Nkhotakota district, heavy rains persist in Karonga district, causing substantial damage to rice fields in TA Mwakawoko.

“The council has reported an immediate need for food, clothing, shelter materials (such as family tents), blankets, dignity kits, and WASH facilities (cups, pails, water treatment chemicals, and mobile toilets) for displaced communities,” Kalemba stated.

With high rainfall expected to continue in lakeshore areas, the department reiterates its call for communities to relocate to safer, higher ground.

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