Malawi – Floods Destroy Hundreds of Homes in Central and Northern Regions

In a statement yesterday, the Malawi government confirmed that heavy rains and hailstorms have damaged or destroyed 664 houses in Kasungu District, Central Region.

The rain and floods struck between 07 and 08 January 2016. According to the statement, the affected villages include Mtoso, Chisinga, Chatanga, Zombo, Chitsulu, Matondo, Saiko, Kakhuza, Longwe, Kamphako and Mphamba.

The rains also damaged about 1611 hectares of crops, including 1,255 hectares of maize, 224 hectares of soya, 100 hectares of tobacco, and 32 hectares of beans.

District Disaster Risk Management Desk Officer Steven Sakhama appealed for urgent assistance to those affected.

“As an immediate solution, the affected households require urgent assistance of food stuffs, plastic sheets, kitchen items, blankets and farm inputs.

“For long term solutions, there is need for sustainable housing extension services, afforestation and natural tree regeneration management and also downscaling weather forecasts early warning systems,” said Sakhama.

Malawi News Agency report that flash floods in Northern Region have 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 to the five villages of Mputa, Jeyeka, Malima, Zikome and Mkhwema.

Local Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) officials say the number of villages that have been affected is expected to rise upon completion of ongoing assessments.

Malawi suffered some of the worst floods in its history this time last year, where at one point 250 square miles of land were under water.

Since then the country has suffered a long period of drought, which has affected crops and harvests leaving the country facing its worst food crisis in 10 years.

Although the recent rain is much needed, when it falls with enough intensity to destroy crops, it will provide little comfort to the nation’s farmers.

Malawi Red Cross  Nsanje and Chikwawa, Malawi Jan 2015
Malawi Red Cross
Nsanje and Chikwawa, Malawi Jan 2015
malawi floods 2015
Flooding in Malawi –
Aerial view of floods.
Photo: George Ntonya/UNDP