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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dyton chiwaya
Guest

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

Chimuemue mtuumodzi
Guest

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

Bwantasa Gomdwe
Guest

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.

svd
Guest

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

Mwana wa Analiyera
Guest

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

sadick maganizo
Guest

Pepani

nshilimubemba
Guest

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

andrew teketa
Guest

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)

andrew teketa
Guest

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

Rajj Ajussa
Guest

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?

wpDiscuz

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