Karonga flood victims go without emergency food aid

The District Civil Protection Committee in Malawi’s northern district of Karonga is now battling to provide the affected people with emergency food aid as it has transpired that the District council warehouse is empty.

Speaking during the emergency meeting Thursday, the Director of Planning and Development Bulukutu said that humanitarian emergency food aid such as maize is urgently needed as some households have lost their food stocks.

He said in the event of lack of emergency food aid, the council will be linking up with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs in the capital city Lilongwe for mobilization and logistical support

“We are linking up with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs for urgent mobilizing of food aid and logistical support to help vulnerable households” said Bulukutu adding that the actual number of households requiring aid will be established in due course.

A police officer family that has been left homeless. Pictures courtesy of Grecian Mbewe
A police officer family that has been left homeless. Pictures courtesy of Grecian Mbewe

Bulukutu appealed with nongovernmental organization to render a helping hand for humanitarian emergency food aid for households which are highly vulnerable especially Kaporo Police Unit that have severely been affected by the floods.

Kaporo Police Unit which was declared five years to relocate to a higher ground is the worst affected government institution with flood water going above window level of all nine houses at the police formation

Over 20 villages in the areas of Paramount Chief Kyungu and Traditional Authority Kilupula have been affected by the floods.

The reports from the District council note that a total of 2238 houses are affected and 463 are completely collapsed.

So far a 31 year old woman from Mwakabighili village in Kilupula area has been confirmed to have sustained a fracture on her left arm.

“A woman got injured when a wall of her house fell on her and has since been referred from Kapolo Rural Hospital to Karonga District Hospital for further medication,” said a man in his 60s who was taking refuge along the road.

Karonga District Hospital spokesperson Christopher Singini also confirmed this news in a separate interview.

He explained that the nature of the injury needed a plaster of paris as part of the treatment.

Singini also said 50 liters of chlorine and 204 bottles of water guard have been distributed to all the affected areas to avoid water borne disease outbreak such as cholera.

Karonga District Water Development Officer Aaron Chaponda observed that heavy rains that fell starting from Tuesday mid-night caused flooding of five rivers namely Kasoba, Ntchowo, Mpherere, Lufilya and Kibwe to burst their banks.

“Karonga received an amount of 115.5mm rainfall which is very high adding that more villages will still be affected,” warned Chaponda.

He observed that rainfall of such intensity is very dangerous to the people.

“Imagine water levels were as high as two meters,” Chaponda wondered.

He advised the District Civil Protection Committee to immediate arrange a boozer for supply of clean water because most water sources such as bole holes in the flooded area have been sub merged.

Apart from floods, Karonga is also well known for other natural disasters such as hail storms, dry spells and earthquakes.

In 2009, a series of earthquakes damaged over 10 000 households and many schools which further put the district on the lime light leaving many people struggling to get back on feet.

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