By Foster Benjamin:
Floods have displaced over 2,187 households in Chikwawa following heavy rains in the district for the past week.
Chikwawa District Commissioner, Ali Phiri, Wednesday said the most affected areas are in Paramount Chief Lundu and Traditional Authority (T/A) Ngabu.
“I can confirm that floods have temporarily displaced 2, 187 households with T/A Lundu’s area being the worst hit as 1,998 households are rendered homeless.
“Group Village Head Sekeni under Lundu is the most affected which has 1,363 households being left without food and shelter. Some of these people were evacuated by a boat after seeing that they were hopelessly trapped,” Phiri said.
He said the affected families have sought shelter in schools and churches.
Chikwawa District Risk Management Officer, Francis Kadzokoya, said efforts are underway to mobilise relief items such as food and blankets.
“We are mobilising some relief items stockpiled by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma). We have distributed blankets and food as we wait for further support,” he said.
Kadzokoya, however, warned people to move to upland areas.
“People should heed to weather updates which are ideal for early warning about pending disasters so that lives should not be lost as it was in March last year where nine people in Chikwawa lost their lives to Cyclone Idai,” he said.
The Chikwawa incident comes in the wake of a warning by the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services that people should expect heavy rainfall that would wreak havoc particularly in low-lying areas of country.
Chikwawa was among nine Southern Region districts that were affected by Cyclone Idai-induced heavy results then floods that led to the death of 60 people and displacement of 800,000 people in Malawi