Malawi – Flood Warnings for Central and Southern Regions

Malawi‘s Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services yesterday 25 January, 2016, issued a five-day weather forecast for heavy rainfall for Central and Southern Regions of the country.

Since then the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has issued a warning to the general public that there is a likelihood of flooding in low lying flood prone areas in the two regions.

In a government statment the Minstry said that vulnerable areas included those along “lower reaches of Shire, Ruo and Mwanza rivers in the Lower Shire Valley, Domasi, Thondwe and Likangala rivers in Zomba district, Phalombe River in Phalombe district and rivers in the lakeshore districts of Nkhotakota, Salima, Mangochi and Dedza (especially Mtakataka) and Luvulezi-Bwanje Valley in Ntcheu district”.

The Ministry advised people living around and along these said rivers to be on guard and not drive or walk through flooded areas. They added:

“People should be especially careful at night when it is nearly impossible to tell the depth of floodwaters. People who have settled too close to river channels, especially in the Lower Shire Valley, are advised to move to higher ground”.

The country is still recovering from the devastating floods of January 2015. At the peak of the 2015 floods 245 square miles of the country was under water and 120,000 households displaced.

Earlier this month floods and storms destroyed 664 houses in Kasungu District, Central Region. Malawi News Agency also reported that flash floods in Northern Region destroyed homes in 5 villages in the Rumphi district. Locals said that 2 to 3 hours of torrential rain on Friday 08 January 2016 caused flood damage in five villages.

After last year’s flood disaster, government officials in Malawi are making efforts to ensure that people are informed of any potential flood situation. In Mid January, the country’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) warned of flooding in Zomba district in Southern Region this month.