Malawi floods displaces families, house collapses to kill village headman

About 2,000 families have been rendered homeless due to floods that have occurred in various places due to heavy down pour with  the area of traditional authorities Mkumba and Jenala in Malawi’s southern district of Phalombe being heavily affected

Phalombe district commissioner Atanazio Chibwana is attributing the flooding to continuous rains that started on Tuesday this week which has rendered most roads impassable.

According to Chibwana, the most affected areas are Nkumba, Jenala and Chiwalo where victims have found refuge in class rooms and churches interrupting lessons at the schools.

Hundreds of people are also reported rendered homeless in the area of senior chief Ndindi in Salima district due to floods.

Part of the afftected dwellings in Salima

Group Village Head Kabumbu died on Monday night when the walls of her house collapsed on her after heavy floods reached the area she lives in along the banks of Lifidzi River.

Assistance District Disaster Risk Management Officer Blessings Kamtema said the Chief whose real name was Eneless Abraham met her fate when she tried to vacate her house.

Meanwhile no assistance has been sent to the victims in both arrears as the officials from the department of disaster management says they are expecting reports from district commissioners before they can decide when and how to act.

Deputy Director in the department Gift Mafuleka said the department has not yet conducted an assessment on the situation.

“We usually don’t act until we get a report from district commissioner’s office,” s Mafuleka.

According to Mafuleka,  traditionally the victims are expected to be provided with relief package comprising of 50 kg bag of maize, 5kg beans I kg of salt, plastic wear two blankets and the plastic sheets.

In related development, Malawi News Agency reported  that rainstorm has destroyed over 1,000 houses and a church in T/A Chimaliro and Mbawera in Malawi’s southern district of Thyolo.

The destruction comes barely three weeks after another rainstorm recently affected 177 people and destroyed roofs of Gombe Clinic and Primary school in T/A Nsabwe’s area in the same district.

Thyolo District Commissioner, Lawford Palani confirmed that 22 villages from T/A Chimaliro and Mbawera have been affected.

“So far, 22 villages have been affected and we have already notified the Disaster Preparedness Department and soon, we will send a District Civil Protection Team to assess the situation from the reports which have been brought by Village Civil Protection Committees,” said Palani.

Thyolo Disaster Desk Officer, Geofrey Kumbuyo said Chimaliro which is located in the high pressure belt of Thyolo is the worst hit.

“Over 1000 houses have been destroyed and a lot of people are destitute. Some of the houses were iron roofed while others were grass thatched, but they have also lost their food and property whose value we have not established yet and Chimaliro area is the worst hit.

“But in the area of Mbawera people were injured and five were serious and were taken to Thekerani Rural Hospital where they were treated. In the mean time, we have communicated with some organisations and the department of disaster preparedness for help,” said Kumbuyo.

Kumbuyo however, could not give the number of destitute individuals due to the rains, but added that they are still registering some people who have also been affected by the rains.

He however, emphasized that the people are in dire need of food and lodging as the rains in the Shire Highland district are not relenting.

In another development, 70 people whose houses and property was destroyed in the fracas that took place on Boxing Day at Ngomani in the area of T/A Thomasi are reportedly being housed in a rest house at Bvumbwe.

Kumbuyo could not give details, but said the people are lacking food and other essentials adding that he could not establish if their children were going to school.

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