Lower Shire floods victims refuse to be airlifted: Malawi deploys military helicopters

Malawi government has deployed military helicopters and boats to rescue flood victims  but despite  high waters in the lower shire district of Nsanje and Chikwawa, people refused to board the rescued choppers, arguing they could not leave their “own land.”

Boat rescue crew

Boat rescue crew

A general view of a collapsed house and broken electrical poles is seen on January 12, 2015 on the outskirts of Malawian capitol, Blantyre Photo: AFP

A general view of a collapsed house and broken electrical poles is seen on January 12, 2015 on the outskirts of Malawian capitol, Blantyre Photo: AFP

At least 48 people have been killed and around 23,000 forced from their homes by heavy flooding  forcing President Peter Mutharika to declare a third of the country a disaster zone and urgently appealed for foreign aid.

Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Paul Chiunguzeni  said  some floods affected people were adamant that they could not leave their area when rescue crews had come with helicopters.

The villagers refuse to move to higher ground because the soil is too rocky for agriculture.

Nsanje District Commissioner Harry Phiri  said about 2,500 villagers managed to flee to hills  “but several thousands are still marooned in dry patches of land in the flooded villages.”

About 30 villages have been cut off after the Shire – Malawi’s longest and biggest river – and the Ruo rivers overflowed.

He says the government is handing out relief – including food and water purifying tablets – to up to 5,000 people who are taking shelter in schools and churches and the government

Vice President Saulos Chilima  said hundreds of victims  stranded on patches of high ground had been rescued, but bad weather challenged the rescue attempt to many people.

“Around 800 people have been rescued from the flooded areas in Nsanje and Chikwawa,” Chilima said in a statement.

Chilima said the country needed more boats, helicopters, food and tents to help the tens of thousands of people affected by the floods.

Chikwawa district commissioner Alex Mdoko said: “We are racing against time to rescue everybody. We want to make sure everybody is safe.”

He said that it was not possible to say how many were missing “until we count everybody and our operation is successful.”

Heavy regional rain began last month and forecasters say they expect it to continue over the coming days.

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56 thoughts on “Lower Shire floods victims refuse to be airlifted: Malawi deploys military helicopters”

  1. dyton chiwaya says:

    Shi kukanambo chithandiizo wa mwana nchena ni majhi akhalambo abojiboji. We not relent to evacuate them.

  2. Chimuemue mtuumodzi says:

    Signs of the times
    lets jst pray for the concerned that God shud hav mercy on them.
    Remember God love us all
    ..Chiem..

  3. Bwantasa Gomdwe says:

    God will sometimes show his power and presence through disasters to remind people of their wickedness. Amalawi tawonjeza kwambiri kuledzera komanso zigololo we need to return to him then also he will return to us. But if we continue sinning we will all perish believe you me or not. At soche hill a liquid erupted from down the earth followed by a mountain of water sweeping away great rocks of the hill including people and property. God is only reminding us that He is and He will be God all the time. No one is like him.

  4. svd says:

    chili kwa nzako nsamati chigwire nyanga mwamva! ena sikwawo koma ndiku ntchito.

  5. Mwana wa Analiyera says:

    Thomas @ 32 Ndiwembuzi yamano kunsi. Ndi Achewa, aLhomwe ndi Ayawo zikugwirizanan chani apa.Nkhani ndi ya Asena.Shupitizako.

  6. People fear the comfort of their habitation to go in foreign land , surely we are all the same desipite location we are in now , the nature human beings just try to find them were they can wait for the flood to subside then let them govt back to where they belong , ay abrupt change brings confusion and fear , no one wants to be a refuge

  7. andrew teketa says:

    its whre there life belong,its not about merely refusing,they need to be explained the dangers lying ahead them ,that they hv sarvived tody to bear a witness but tomorw they might not make it(sarvive)

  8. andrew teketa says:

    thanks guys for updating us of is happening in our beutiful country,im vevertly proud to be amalawian/n:bay

  9. Rajj Ajussa says:

    In this situation “using force” is somehow necessary. These people are supposed to be rescued by force if they are still refusing to leave their so called land. How can it be theirs when other people are loosing their lives? Them may be they can swim but what about children, elders & even people with disabilities?

  10. victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi says:

    Smoke them out. Start with women and children. Let’s pray that normal rains prevail.
    Let’s pray for the lives of those people whose rescue is hampered by bad weather. May good weather prevail.

  11. Sabiti says:

    Asenao asandutsa ma floods nyambo yopezera thandizo every yr apa athandizidwe okhao avomereza kusamuka oti sadzabwereranso

  12. Kamdondo says:

    ASENA AMBIRI NDI MABULUTU! ALANDENI ANAWO BASI.

  13. pichi says:

    Muwalande ana iwo muwasiye muaona aleka zimenezo. The children have a right to life. Chamba eti

  14. Olo awasamuse adzabwererabe ndi kwao, kapena mukawagulire malo ku btz lunzu

  15. Den says:

    This is how, lower shire people earn their living.they earn it through aid which is sometimes forced onto their helpers. These people will demand cash just for attending a development meeting. All efforts by government and NGOs to ask them to go uplands have and will remain futile for as long as they know they will be assisted. They have become one of the laziest community in Malawi. And unless we break this circle of expectations, the country will always have to spend millions every year for their unreasonable and deliberate choices

    1. Wa Nzeru Wa Kum'mawa says:

      Good comment Den

  16. mohammed malinga says:

    Okanikawo alekeni awo ofuna chithandizo alandile bas.Koma Peter usangokhala kusanjika you’re ukawoneko mmene Unawabela mavote akuvutikila

  17. Commando says:

    MDF, just issue orders for all to move, if anyone say not, kick them with your boots!!! Wasting time and fuel to help them and they refuse help? Or at least just get the kids out, makolowo amasanduka ng’ona. Lets not forget, that is nsanje.

  18. padoko says:

    What happened to members of Zion church who refused to let their children be immunised during the measles out-break? The police moved in with medical personnel to immunise them by force. What we hear about these Senas refusing to be served is totally stupid. Probably a sign of absolute poverty. Fish them out by force and for those who resist, leave them, the spirits of their ancestors will provide them with food, blankets etc. These people cannot afford to leave mphenembe behind. After-all stop joking by sending helicopters you have scared them to the bone.

  19. Shaa? Nsena sazatheka ndithu!

  20. Thomas says:

    Chewaz Lhomwez ndi a Yawo zeru alibe aganiza monga ana

    1. waku malawi says:

      That’s madness of highest degree.

  21. Emmanuel says:

    Anthu sadakane kusamusidwa ai. Inu taganizilani malo amene mwakhalao , pali jigo oti ukhonza kukupatsani madzi abwino? Nanga chigayo, nanga zina zofunikila pa moyo wamunthu zilipo? Nanga malo amene akufuna kusamutsila anthuwa ziliko. Zango chitika kuti a DC wa siakuno ndiobwela. Zimenezi sadziwa

  22. Bwinchombe says:

    Taasiyeni amenewo. Kodi chaka chilichonse tizingomva za lower states basi? Nanunso opereka zithandizo takaperekeni kwina. Mukulimbana ndi nsena?

  23. Zamanyazi! Ena kumakumvera chisoni, iwe mwini ayi.Zinadi ukaona, kamba anga mwala.

  24. Asiyeni choncho basi!

  25. Bristol says:

    Let the govt just uplift them to greater heights & should not tow their line of thinking to leave them in the flood zones.

  26. Life and agriculture which is important, their are crazy n idiots

  27. But must leave to upper area no matter what

  28. Anthu okanika Asiyeni chonde mdf yayesetsa koma musiye kumenya a police

  29. Malawianah says:

    Let them die n dnt send any aid to such pple.am praying for more rain to come so that they can die fast.
    FULLZ.

  30. mike says:

    ndilemekeza inu YEHOVA amene mumasintha nyengo,mumapanga zonse ndi mudongosolo lanu, tisiyila zonse m’manja mwanu,nkhondo iyi siyathu,ndiyanu inu YEHOVA amene simulakwitsa,mukwere ife titsike

  31. James says:

    The army should work like in a war zone. Use force because the end result is good. Tachitani za chitetezo zenizeni apa

  32. aphiri says:

    Ulendo wina adzangowasiya amapanga makani kwambili asenawa. Pamenepa ndiye kuti akungotukwananso

  33. Patriot says:

    Musabwere mtawuni ndi ti “tithandizeni bwana”, tuumvana?

  34. BalakaGuy says:

    Am appealing to you men in uniform who have been sent to rescue people there,dont bother to assist a policeman,paja amati iwowo ndi madolo muwasiye konko,azawapulumutsa IG wawo yemweyo.

  35. Mamuna says:

    Msena sadzatheka basi!! Ande ba! Anzake a chakuamba enewa, kkkkk!

  36. Newx ichocho says:

    Alekenimbo wawa afele pomwepo!

  37. Mwana Nsena says:

    Akukula moyo wodalira amenewa…let them die there and become feed for Shire crocodiles!!!!

  38. drakes says:

    The flooding in Malawi was reported on BBC by a Mocambiquean reporter while our journalists are busy practicing politics and attacking suffering people of Nsanje.

    1. arkm says:

      Achina Raphael Tenthani, I thought he would be the first one to report this feed to BBC but alas!! what he is doing now is scribbling on what bad to say about the president this weekend

  39. Osawathamangitsa ndi zikwapu bwanji?…Anyapuleni amenewa

  40. mwewo woyiba says:

    Do not call them idiots at this stage. I know those who saying no are temporary confused and it may prove difficult to convince them within a very short time. Surely as intensify fear will grasp them and finally run for their dear lives. Anzanu azungulira mitu ndiye inu mukuwanena kuti idiots kulakwa.

  41. Kamweza says:

    Leave them and concentrate in other areas.

  42. Citizen 'O' says:

    Sangaloredi kuchoka, I know those people. Ma floods ndi m’godi wao. Some of them survive on relief items donated afta the floods.

  43. Sagwa says:

    Make sure aliyense ali safe wamva iwe Saulos

  44. Yetson Nkhoma says:

    These pple are idiots, why refusing?

  45. Hahaha okey their own land?jst leave them…demet.

  46. Wanex banda says:

    Let them die and rot there.

    1. Triple Black Mother says:

      You will burn in the Sun. You would not exist if not for the MELANINATED people. Bow down bytch cave troglodyte & give thanks. I feel a bad nose bleed coming for you!!

  47. mbwaxe says:

    Asiyeni!!! They are idiots and motherfuckers!!!! What a useless bunch of people!!!

  48. upile says:

    Akukanawo leave them they are wasting govnt resources mxiiii

  49. J. Manda says:

    Anthuwo ndiamzathu zomwe akupangazo ndi cibwana camcombo lende.
    Akufunapo zithandizo zomwe zimabwera madzi akasefukiea basi.
    Akamapitilira mungowasiya akula atha aziwona. Ndipo madzi abwere oculuka awatenge onse okanawo.

  50. Nyandoro says:

    Waaaaaa! sitingapitembo kumtunda.Mphenembe tikazipezako kumeneko?

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