Malawi – Floods in Karonga District Leave 4 Dead, Crops Destroyed

The government in Malawi has said that 4 people died following floods in areas of Chief Kyungu, Wasambo, Kilupula and Mwirang’ombe in Karonga district.

The flooding occurred 04 April 2017. As of 06 April a further 3 people were still missing and 6 reported injured.

Officials say that 5,520 households were affected and about 1075 hectares of crops fields, including rice, maize and cassava, were damaged.

Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima visited the area and assured the victims that government will do everything to support them.

“We will make sure that the necessary relief items are provided. In addition, we will tighten security in the camps and provide all facilities necessary for human living including sanitation,” Chilima said.

A bridge at Jalawe (near Chiweta) was washed away in the floods, causing major traffic disruption to and from Karonga and hindering delivery of relief supplies to those affected. Engineers are on the ground working to construct a new bridge.

Similar floods occurred in Northern Region, including Karonga, in April 2016. At least 12 people died and 9,000 were displaced.

Earlier this year, floods hit the Malawi capital Lilongwe during the morning of Friday 10 February, after the Lingadzi River burst its banks following 6 hours of heavy rain on Thursday 09 February.

Malawi Meteorological Services said that further heavy rain was possible in Karonga and across the Northern Region.

“Locally heavy thunderstorms and rain showers are expected mainly over northern and lakeshore areas with focus on Chitipa, Karonga, Nkhatabay bay and Nkhotakota. This is due to the influence of easterly waves over most areas of Malawi coupled with ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) to the northern tip of the country.”

Flooding in Karonga, Malawi, April 2017. Photo: Government of Malawi
Flooding in Karonga, Malawi, April 2017. Photo: Government of Malawi

Flood summary

Last updated: April 7, 2017
Event
Northern Malawi, April, 2017
Date
April 2, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Long-term rainfall

Locations

A - Karonga
B - Chiweta

Damages

Fatalities
4 people
Karonga district - April 2 to April 5, 2017
Evacuated
30,000
Karonga district - April 2 to April 7, 2017
Estimated figure. Authorities report 5,200 families displaced.
Additional
1 bridge
Jalawe, Chiweta - April 2 to April 7, 2017

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