Hailstorm hits Karonga hard: UDF’s Wavisanga offers relief items

At least 68  people have been rendered homeless and hectares of food crops have been destroyed following a hailstorm that hit the northern district of Karonga Saturday, Nyasa Times can report.

Group Village Headman (GVH) Mwangwela, traditional leader of Mweningolongo, Mwangwela and Mwenikawe villages, – the most hit areas –, said 10 people were injured and rushed to the hospital after the disaster.

Bode Sichoni, 32, whose house fell on him whilst he was sleeping is still hospitalized at Karonga District Hospital.

“The disaster has taken my people unawares. It struck when everyone was sleeping. People have nowhere to sleep. Their crops have all been destroyed,” said GVH Mwangwela.

He added: “I called the District Commissioner (DC) but when he came he only expressed his concern and asked me to welcome everyone willing to support because he said government may not be able to assist everyone in time.”

Silungwe posing with some of the victims.
Silungwe posing with some of the victims.
Hailstorm destroyed houses and crops
Hailstorm destroyed houses and crops

Karonga DC, visited the disaster hit areas Sunday but as of Monday, government had not yet come in with any help.

United Democratic Front (UDF) was the first to respond with assorted items comprising tents, kitchen utensils and financial support.

UDF parliamentary candidate for Karonga North West for the May 20 tripartite elections, Wavisanga Silungwe, called on other people of goodwill to come in with their support saying the situation was a crisis.

“The church, government, political parties and all people of goodwill must quickly come in and help our dear friends here in Karonga,” he told Nyasa Times.

He called on the disaster of preparedness to be swift with their help.

“There is always foul play when it comes to distributing relief items. Let us not politicise this disaster,” said Silungwe.

Good Mwengana, 51, who spoke on behalf of fellow victims, said he was grateful to the UDF for the timely support.

“Even our Member of Parliament has not been here yet. I want to commend the UDF for the timely support,” said Mwengana, a father of 9, whose house was completely obliterated.

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