Death toll from floods triples to 176, says Malawi VP

Malawi vice president Saulos Chilima says the death toll from floods triples to 176  and at least 200,000 displaced.

Chilima said the rescue operation had been hampered by poor weather in the past few days and the difficulty of finding places for helicopters to land..-Photo by Jeromy Kadewere, Nyasa Times

Chilima said the rescue operation had been hampered by poor weather in the past few days and the difficulty of finding places for helicopters to land..-Photo by Jeromy Kadewere, Nyasa Times

Thousands of people have been displaced after seeing their homes washed away

Thousands of people have been displaced after seeing their homes washed away

Chilima told a news conference in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre that dozens of people are still missing, with at least 153 unaccounted for in the worst affected southern parts of the country.

He said a joint operation between police and the Malawi Defence Force was under way to rescue hundreds who were trapped in their villages.

“It’s a very bad situation. I flew over some parts of the Lower Shire but we could not find anywhere to land,” he said of the southern parts of the country. “It’s a big challenge we have before us.”

President Peter Mutharika has declared 15 of the country’s 28 districts disaster areas.

Chilima, who is minister responsible for disaster and relief management, has asked for international assistance.

Rescuers are also trying to find bodies of people believed to have drowned in the Shire River. Some people have also been reluctant to leave their farms and now local elders have been tasked with ensuring everyone is taken to camps on higher, dry land.

The United Nations World Food Programme said it plans to airlift more than 100 metric tons of food to the southern African nation to feed at least 77,000 people.

Tents have been set up for those left homeless, and many have found refuge with friends and neighbours whose homes survived, according to aid organisation Doctors Without Borders.

“The floods are behaving like a slow tsunami with the river swelling progressively downstream toward the south and Mozambique,” said Amaury Gregoire, Doctors Without Borders’ mission head in Malawi.

The international medical organisation said it was concerned that displaced people were also vulnerable to water-borne disease due unsanitary conditions.

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44 thoughts on “Death toll from floods triples to 176, says Malawi VP”

  1. Njolinjo says:

    I salute you Rt Hon Chilima. You are my man. You are the first wa pa carrier kuyimba bell. I’m praying for your good health big man.

  2. Matukuta says:

    Inu a Chair anasiya Mpando kale kale,koma mumasungabe mangawa bwanji??why not blame Bingu?anthu openga mwapanga bwanji?

  3. Tambwali says:

    Sory guys though u celebrate whn northerners r in problems.

  4. SORRY says:

    Pepani banganya

  5. Jas says:

    It Is Very Sad With The Situation Our Brothers, Sisters Are Facing In Some Districts In South. May I Request Nsanje People To Understand And Take Action When Government Says Desert This Place. Iam With You In This Hard Times, May God Almighty Control The Situation In Jesus Christ Name

  6. yale says:

    Mr Vice President,kodi ma suit any amakusokelani ndani,komatu Ali bhoo ameneyo,zili bho mubvala bhoo ,osamavala ngati Msonda ayi

  7. Observer says:

    Chigonapamuhanya, your comment demonstrates your obvious lack of understanding of the geography of Malawi. It is clear that your tribalist tendencies have gotten the better of you. For your own information, the southern region and Nsanje and Chikwawa in particular are districts located within the Shire Valley meaning that they are areas of very low altitude relative to the central and northern region. Most of the nation’s rivers including the Shire and Ruo drain to this area and as a result the likelihood of flooding is very high. The choices that people have had to make to ensure their survival are shaped by existing structures i.e. government policy. You need to analyse more thoughtfully and apportion blame where it is relevant.

  8. Lets love one another whether from north south or center we are all one we all called Malawian

  9. upindi upile says:

    Dont laugh when your friends are in problems. Its sad that when Taifa market caught fire one southerner said leave that to Tumbukas to sort out. Y cant the south sort this problems on their own without government help or soundind sos? Malawi is one. All the 3 regions are interdependant. We feel sorry 4 what has happened in the south though u do celebrate when northerners r in problems.

  10. Rev Dr. and Mrs Zeze says:

    To the State President, Cabinet Ministers, Members of the clergy and the bereaved families, we join you in sympathising with those who have lost their beloved wives, husbands, brothers and sisters, grandparents, sons and daughters and grandchildren. It is a crucial and difficult moment for families, religious, political and church leaders socially, politically and economically.

    Malawi has lost people who could help to develop the country. We pray that God will comfort all the bereaved families and the greater nation. Our appeal to those of us who are living abroad, let join our friends and do something to mitigate the suffering. You may contact me on 0787956425 or so that we can mobilize each other and help our friends home. Rev Dr. Mrs Zeze, Mukhanyo Theological College, RAS

  11. The plunder of malawi started with Bakili Muluzi. He was not as visionary as Kamuzu was. Most of his policies were based on consumption and not investment. The lazy people took heed of his preaching and hated those who worked hard. Now look at the area most affected by these floods. What happened to its forests. People learnt to live on hand outs from that time. Bridges wahed away now have remained unrepaired for many years and we expected them to keep standing against the torrents of flooding waters? Go to the north people learnt to stand on their own long time ago not the lazy south. The same ITCZ is going north and I tell you that we will handle it in a way that we’l shame the devil. The govt will now embark on Kudzipezera Malo in Nsanje and Chikhawa from Kudzigulira Malo. Watch out Lower Shirers.

  12. Lekani says:

    Sad news.

  13. swenga says:

    tithandizane amalawi

  14. Vavlov says:

    It is very sad to families that have lost their loved ones due to floods; a recurrent phenomenon in the Lower Shire. People in the Valley are fully aware of the flood dangers, but hardly learn on how to avoid such calamities, and this is being aggravated by poor land use practices (deforestation) which aggravates flooding. The government should invest in preventing deforestation, and encouraging people NOT to settle in flood prone areas. Others these calamities are becoming annual events of losing people, whose lives could have been saved with proper awareness and afforestation programmes.

    For politicians, they take advantage of these sad events to campaign for their parties through crying for donor funds, and one funds come, they will ride on that as their contribution to the country’s development. Very cheap propaganda. Deal with the causes of the problem and Not the symptoms.


  16. Ayatollah says:

    Iwe Masautso Dzumani, did you have to say that you are at a University in Japan before making your comment? Ka Japan nkachani, tinali pa Chanco ife. Ndiye chizungu chakocho ukuti lets abide to them? Nde kuti chani? Koma nkalasimo zimayendamo? Kapena mukungokhalira Karate kumeneko! Demet

  17. olira says:

    Sad for Malawi

  18. Jack says:

    And others are getting huge allowances including the leaders just to do the samaritan work…shame!!

  19. julius says:

    what a disaster plz LORD have mercy on this land

  20. Ajuju says:

    Leaders must have vision b4 they lay concrete

  21. m'malawi says:

    Human right has limitations based on situations, if someone is reluctunt to be airlifted then use force. Thanx to gvt for not politicising this issue as of now you are dealing with it professionally. Bravo Chilima

  22. We have many useless people in the south who are busy destroying the environment. There is no forest left now and all they know is charcoal business. They don’t even want to send their children to school. All the Shire River catchment area is deforested and yet government is doing nothing. It is the very same people that have invaded Dzalanyama and very soon they will start attacking the northern region forests for charcoal. The southerners behave like locusts and we in other regions should keep a watchful eye on them. They are very lazy and always want to do easy jobs like being watchmen and domestic workers. Most of the prostitutes are southerners as well and just go to Chilomoni, Machinjiri, Ntopwa, Chilimba, Chitawira etc. It’s all prostitution and theft. They have also invaded Lilongwe to steal and do prostitution. The many mini bus callers are them and they live in shacks and mud houses that easily collapse. They are very hopeless people.

  23. evergreen city says:

    Zizindikilo zikuoneka wakumva amve wamaso aone mateyu 24 God be wth our land once more

  24. Gule Wa Mkulu says:

    If one thinks deeply, multi-party politics is showing its ugly scenes now. People were told by Bakili Muluzi that they can cut down trees for charcoal processing. No free was spared. Now tisalirepo apa ndi zofina izi. Sad that ordinary people now are dying and the politician is just talking as usual. No concrete plans for my fellow poor Malawians. To distroy is so easy and to build is so hard. Mr politician of Muluzi era, help these people. Munakana Kamuzu mululiranji. Kamenya choir of Dedza in those good old days.

    1. ndunde says:


  25. saeed says:

    So sad

    1. This is not time to point a finger on someone or take a chance to do politics, lets pray to God sa a one nation

  26. Masautso Dzumani says:

    As a malawian currently in Japan at Obihiro University hokkaido i wish to express my condolences to those who have lost their beloved ones.My appeal to those who are still struggling please,i say please listen to Goverment instructions that u need to move away to heigher grounds please.OUR mALAWI DEFENCE FORCE AND THE POLICE ARE WORKING 24HRS PER DAY TO RESCUE PEOPLE PLEASE LETS ABIDE TO THEM.GOD BLESS MALAWI AND CONTINUE TO KEEP IT A LAND OF PEACE[ M.H DZUMANI MIN OF AGRIC NENO MALAWI]

  27. Thanx 2 govt 4 telng de truth. This # stl wil increase especially due 2 lower states tragedy. May de Lord comfort de berieved!

  28. summary please says:

    So bad

  29. NYAOPE says:

    When destruction comes nearer, understanding turns upside down. Please airlift them all , entertain no resistance to avoid more deaths.

  30. nkhedu says:

    kodi inu muli busy ndi zisiruzi? Tangozisiyani ziswananso ngati makoswe.stupid

    1. chingo says:

      Be human man dnt talk like that think if it was ur family going through that would say wat u just say put urself in their shoes

  31. Wadya zache alibe mlandu says:

    so help us God

  32. so bad…tima-foundation tija munayambitsayambitsa tatulukani nthawi yothandiya ija ndiimeneyi,tikukudziwani tisachite kutchulana maina apa ayi.

  33. very sad indeed (RIP]

  34. Callister Daniel Phiri says:

    Just be waiting for presidency coz Pitara won’t get through to 2019

  35. Angozo says:

    Very pathetic.

  36. Gerald says:

    Eeeeeee!! Mpaka 178 pple died

  37. Bwampini says:

    If Malawi had hard working politicians like Chilima, we could be far better. It shameful that some are just good on opening n closing their mouths. This guy is a real patriot. Well done SKC

  38. Dr. Mango says:

    Very pathetic situation. It all goes down to degradation of forests in our once very beautiful Malawi. Charcoal business has greatly contributed to the disaster. Why don’t we let the trees regenerate naturally undisturbed for some years? ESCOM has no choice but switch off sone of its generators to clear silt and debris swept off bare mountains.

  39. Too many people in the south and living in dangerous places. Chilomoni houses are on steep slopes and Soche Hill is being invaded. Civic education needed.

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