UNICEF has tipped Malawi and other southern African countries to be prepared for the strongest El Nino since 40 years ago, saying it is likely to cause extreme flooding and severe drought.
The warming comes barely days after leader of opposition in parliament Lazarus Chakwera asked the government to start preparing for the El Nino effects.
Patrick Mwanza of UNICEF told the BBC Wednesday morning that El Nino is likely to hit hard Malawi, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia among others.
“Ethiopia is well prepared. It can contain the situation. We are impressed with the level of Ethiopia’s preparation. Ethiopia has made commendable preparations,” he said.
He did not say how prepared Malawi is to face the changing weather pattern process but hinted it will affect 11 million children in southern Africa.
Mwanza said rains might be delayed in the affected countries and when they finally come they will rain with force causing intensive flooding which will wash away the fertile top layer soil causing drought in the coming year.
He said the El Nino effects should be expected as soon as December or January next year and asked government to get prepared.
The Malawi government is yet to respond to Chakwera’s statement about Malawi has just experienced severe floods this year blamed on climate change and blamed partly for the current economic woes.