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Disaster department records 17 deaths, 114,000 victims

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By Yohane Symon:

At least 17 people have died and 23 have been injured as a result of floods and strong winds which have affected some parts of the country since the start of the rainy season in November 2018.

Additionally, 114,000 people from 20,763 households have been affected following the collapse of, or partial damage to, their houses due to flooding and heavy winds.

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Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) spokesperson, Chilipiliro Khamula, Tuesday said 12 out of the 17 deaths were due to lightning, while others were due to reasons that range from drowning to collape of houses.

“As of 8th January 2018, about 20,763 households, meaning approximately 114,196 people have been affected. while 17 people have died due to various natural disasters,” Khamula said.

Khamula said Dodma has, so far, reached out to all the affected people with relief items.

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“Our relief package includes a 50-kilogramme (kg) bag of maize or rice, 10 metres of roofing plastic sheets for temporally roofing, two blankets, one 20-litre plastic bucket, five plastic cups, four plastic plates and five kilogrammes of beans,” he said.

In some instances, Khamula said, Dodma has been providing temporary shelter to the displaced people in some of the evacuation centres which the department prepared before the rainy season.

One of the most affected districts is Balaka, where 140 households have been affected between November and December 31.

In Mangochi, six primary schools and three administration blocks plus 87 households were destroyed in traditional authorities Mponda, Makanjira, Chimwala, Chilipa and Namavi.

Currently, school authorities in Mangochi are failing to accommodate about 870 learners in the affected schools.

At Mbonechera Primary School, some of the learners are being accommodated in nearby church structures.

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