Devastation in Lilongwe
A total of 1,519 people have been affected by heavy rains that hit Lilongwe over the past week.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs has confirmed the development, saying a total of 63 houses have been completely damaged.
According to spokesperson for the department, Chipiliro Khamula, the most affected areas are Kaliyeka, Mgona, Area 25 and Ngomano.
“Several parts of the Central Region, especially Lilongwe have flooded following heavy rains from the past five days… the Floods have since displaced some households.” Khamula said.
He said the rains also caused damage to some roads and bridges.
Lilongwe City Mayor, Juliana Kaduya believes the destruction is as a result of people who have built structures on most river banks, stressing that the council will be doing sensitisation campaigns on the same.
“We have time and again advised people to refrain from constructing houses along river banks… and this is the outcome of building homes in such places, however the council will assist the victims with support from Dodma,” Kaduya said.
Parliamentarian for Lilongwe City Centre, Alfred Jiya, said he is disheartened with the development and has since asked for emergency relief, especially for those families that have been displaced and are currently staying in school classrooms.
The rain forecast for the next 10 days shows that the country is going to experience floods in some parts of the country.
Weather expects are saying the rainfall pattern is due to climate change and they have since called on government to intensify messages on disaster risk reduction.
According to 2019 flood post disaster needs assessment report, about 288,371 houses, 1,841 km of roads and 129 bridges , 154 public primary school blocks and 81 teachers’ houses , 25 health facilities, 91,638 hectares of crops and 64 irrigation systems were affected.
The report further says 396 boreholes, 10 dykes, 11 hydrological stations were affected
The report said the floods have pushed more households in the affected districts further into poverty
It says the recurrent and severe disasters the country has been experiencing in the past few years call for new thinking and approaches to recovery and resilience.
“There is need to consider recovery and reconstruction as part of risk reduction and that infrastructure and productive assets should be more resilient. Poor quality construction materials and workmanship are common cause of damages and that there is need to develop effective tools for building back better, including enforcement of compliance to construction specifications,” reads part of the report.
The report recommended investment in building resilience, targeting vulnerable and marginalised group.