Floods threat grows bigger

Met extends warning to Northern Region


The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) has issued a warning of floods in the Northern Region and lakeshore areas due to heavy downpours yesterday and today.

This comes after the department had earlier warned that flash floods could be experienced in the twin Shire Valley districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje and some lakeshore areas.

In a statement issued yesterday, quoting DCCMS’s notice, Commissioner for the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma), Charles Kalemba, says Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Malawi Police Service (MPS) and Marine Department search and rescue teams have been engaged in the wake of the expected flash floods and strong winds that could cause loss of life and property.


Kalemba says the department is treating the warning with utmost urgency and continues to put systems in place to lessen the gravity of the effects of the natural occurrence on human life.

“The department is treating the warning with urgency and has made standby arrangements for the deployment of a search and rescue team comprising the MDF, MPS and the Marine Department in areas at risk of experiencing looming heavy rains and flash floods,” the statement reads.

The Northern Region districts said to be at risk of flooding are Karonga, Nkhata Bay an Mzuzu while the lakeshore districts are Nkhotakota and Salima.


The Dodma warning says the rains would be associated with strong winds and lightning and the department has since called on communities living in the areas in question to take precautionary measures to save lives and property.

Among other things, Kalemba has asked people in the areas to move to safer and higher places and avoid crossing flooded rivers and walking through running water.

“If walking through water is the only option to safety, use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you. Frequently inspect houses for possible damages. Heavy rains can weaken structures leading to collapsing of walls; causing deaths and injuries in the process,” Kalemba’s warning adds.

Meanwhile, health rights activists have also decried the prolonged rainfall across the country which they fear will worsen the cholera situation.

Executive Director of the Health Rights Education Programme, Maziko Matemba, has called on Malawians to drink treated water and receive the cholera vaccine to fortify themselves from the disease that has so far killed at least 470 people.

“Cholera is easy to treat, with oral rehydration for most patients, and intravenous rehydration for more severe cases. If treated in time, more than 99 percent of patients will survive. Providing clean drinking water and correctly processing wastewater protects people from getting infected,” Matemba said.

Caused by bacteria that infect the intestines after someone has ingested contaminated water or food, cholera affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated, according to the World Health Organisation.

A statement from Africa Union on Africa Multi- Hazard Early Warning and Action System for Disaster Risk Reduction Continental Situation Room put Malawi on level four warning of flooding—which is a red alert.

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