By Justin Mkweu & Mathews Kasanda:
Heavy rains that have hit the Southern Region have killed one person in Mulanje District, injuring 30 others and causing blackouts nationwide.
Department of Disaster Affaires Management (Dodma) spokesperson Chipiliro Khamula told The Daily Times that his office had received a preliminary report from Mulanje District Council that heavy rains have damaged some houses in Traditional Authority Juma, where one person died and 30 others sustained injuries.
Khamula added that the council was assessing the extent of the damage.
In the Chikwawa District, roads were almost impassable as heavy rains with strong winds showed no signs of relenting Monday.
Chikwawa District Commissioner Ali Phiri said his office was alert as Malawi continues to experience the effects if Cyclone Ana.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has asked learners in Southern Region schools to temporarily stay away from school starting today.
In a statement released Monday, which Secretary for Education Chikondano Mussa has signed, the ministry indicates that this is a life-preservation strategy.
“Ministry of Education would like to inform the general public and all schools in the Southern districts of Malawi that, due to the Tropical Cyclone Ana warning released by the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, learners in all educational institutions in this region should, from tomorrow Tuesday, 25th January 2022, temporarily stay away from school. For those in boarding schools, students should stay indoors,” the statement reads.
In a related development, heavy rains that fell yesterday forced Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) of Malawi to shut down all its power plants as it sought to clear debris.
Egenco spokesperson Moses Gwaza was uncertain as to when the machines would resume generating electricity.
He was however optimistic that electricity would be back by today morning.
“We cannot predict how long it will take because as long as we have floods, we will have problems in generating electricity and another challenge is that the floods are bringing debris but we hope it will not take time,” he said.
A statement from the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi indicated that engineers were on site to restore power into the national grid.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.