Salima residents hit by flooding again as heavy rain create more misery

Heavy rains leading to flash floods had put properties  in central region lakeshore district of Salima underwater again.

Floods at Chembe village

damaged railway

This was a second time for Salima to be hit by floods this month.

From Friday  floodwaters caused  excessive damage to roads and railway infrastructure, properties and displacing people in four new areas including students from Malowa Community Day Secondary School.

Area of Katelera Trading Centre, Lifidzi Trading Centre and Kabumbu Village, Khwidzi Village, Chembe Village and Chentika Village were swamped by rising waters..

Apart from damaging houses and property, the floods have damaged part of the railway line from Balaka to Salima at Khwidzi Village, near Chipoka in the area of T/A Ndindi.

Another area that has been affected is the M5 road near Siyasiya Trading Centre in the area of Senior Chief Khombedza and boarding facilities at Malowa Community Day Secondary School in Chipoka where 52 girls had to be rescued.

District Commissioner, Rodney Simwaka said the damage and the displacement is huge than expected and difficult for the council to handle alone.

“The damage is more than we thought, because it has touched the area of infrastructure, as well as livelihoods as many people have been displaced,” said Simwaka.

Speaking to groups of displaced people in the four camps which have temporally been set at Lifidzi and Msumwa schools, Mtima Oyera warehouse and Mgwirizano school, Simwaka assured the victims that reports will be sent to relevant authorities to call for more support as the council was overwhelmed.

Assistant District Disaster Risk Management Officer, Blessings Kamtema reported that cumulatively the total number of affected house-holds in the four new camps is at 1, 228 pending verification from district officials.

“From the reports of the Village Civil Protection Committees the number of displaced house- holds is 1, 228. This will further be verified by the district officials in the camps,” said Kamtema.

Kamtema further explained that some people have their houses completely damaged while others have left their homes because they pose a risk if they stay further.

“We had one dangerous situation where flooding water filled two dormitories for girls at Malowa Community Day Secondary School at Chipoka and the girls who were sleeping at that time had to be rescued through windows.

The 52 rescued girls have since been moved to Teen Mission campus some five Kilometers away from the school, but their property like clothes, foodstuffs and learning materails were damaged,” said Kamtema.

One of the eye witnesses, Efrida Mzangaza, a Matron at the school, said the flooding started at dawn when the girls were sleeping.

“We were lucky because the beds are decked and the girls managed to climb to the upper decks and were rescued via upper windows,” said.

According to the District Education Manager, Christopher Kumikundi, the floods have highly affected education as four schools are now hosting displaced people as temporary camps, and the flooding river have made some schools inaccessible to learners.

“The situation at Malowa is very bad and we are only fortunate that no student died, but they have lost most of their property including books and other learning materials and food stuff considering that the facility operates on self boarding basis.

“In general, education has been highly affected because now learners in these areas are not going to classes due to impassable roads and the fact that displaced people are temporarily sheltering in three schools,” said Kumikundi.

Meanwhile State President Professor Peter Mutharika is expected to visit flood victims on Monday afternoon and is scheduled to stop at Ngwilizano school in the area of T/A Pemba where 350 households have been displaced.

Last week, Vice President Saulos Chilima was in the district to visit the flooded area and distributed releif items to the displaced families.

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