Close to 73 households have been left destitute in Phwezi, Rumphi after a heavy downpour washed away their homes and property worth millions on Friday evening.
The heavy rains, which started around 9 pm, resulted in Lunguzi River bursting its banks and causing flush floods at Phwezi that washed vehicles, barber shops and some houses.
Senior Village Headman Vunda was at a loss for words to describe the devastation caused by the heavy rains.
“The water was all over the place. Then when I looked further where my wife’s shop was situated, I discovered that it had gone with the floods.
“Even our crop fields were not spared by these raging waters,” Senior GVH Vunda said.
Chiza Mhango, who owned a barbershop at Phwezi Trading Centre, is one of the locals counting losses caused by the disaster.
“I have lost goods worth K350, 000 and this include my barbershop equipment, customers’ cellular phones and four bags of fertilizer,” Mhango said.
Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) District Desk Officer, Alufeyo Mhango said his office is carrying out assessment to determine the extent of the damage.
This is not the first time for the place to experience this kind of natural disaster. In 2001, hundreds of households were also left homeless over flooding of Lunguzi River hit the area.
One of the locals, Chancy Mzumara, blamed communities living in the upper land of the river for contributing to this nature of disaster.
“We are in this mess because people in Luwira and Lungazi have carelessly cut down trees,” she said.
The villagers living near this stream said there is need for the National Roads Authority to construct a bridge that would allow more water to flow freely.
They said the culverts through which water passes though were chocked up.
“The culverts are not big enough to contain the volume of water that flows from upland. Debris carried by the waters chokes up the culverts resulting into overflowing of water into people’s along the river banks.
“What we want the authorities to do for us is to construct a normal bridge which would be capable of holding such massive waters to flow freely,” another local Sandress Mzumara said.
Six people were reportedly injured with two of them taken to Mzokoto Health Centre while the others taken to Rumphi District Hospital.
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