Malawi floods leave thousands homeless in Karonga

Hundreds of families have been rendered homeless in the area of Traditional Authority Kilupula in Karonga district following severe floods that have destroyed their houses.

The fierce floods, which hit the area in the early hours of Wednesday due to heavy downpours, have also dispossessed 10 families of police officers at Kaporo Station.

An official from Karonga District Council, Emmanuel Bulukutu Chirwa, said about 16 villages with over 500 houses have been affected by the floods considered to be the worst to hit the area.

“We are now trying to find alternative homes for families of the police officers where they can be temporarily put,” Chirwa said earlier in the day.

Chirwa, who visited the affected areas with a team of experts to assess the extent of the devastation, said the situation was not healthy as several families have lost their property which has been swept away.

The official also disclosed that an unidentified woman has been admitted to hospital after she broke her arm during the incident.

Several houses have completely collapsed while others are halfway submerged in the water which has also washed away several rice fields.

Some of the affected areas include Mwenitete, Mwaulambo and Ngerenge, which are all rice growing areas with a number of streams around.

Scores of stranded villagers also reportedly found shelter in trees while others sought refugee along the Karonga-Songwe Boarder main road.

The roads have become impassable except the main road which has now become home of hundreds of trapped villagers.

According to reports some villagers have only managed to salvage their livestock as all their property has been damaged.

The development has created anxiety among the people in the area that they will face serious food shortage following the destruction of their crops.

In December 2009, a series of earthquakes and aftershocks of magnitudes ranging from 4.6 to 6.2, described by experts as the country’s worst ever, hit the district and left thousands of residents homeless.

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

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