Six people have been confirmed dead in central Malawi on Sunday, December 17, 2017, after heavy rains that started on Friday caused severe floods. More than 200 homes were affected and over 1 000 people left homeless. Heavy rains also hit the country's north where floods destroyed over 80 homes and severely affected close to 73 households. The number of affected households is expected to increase.
According to the Government of Malawi, the affected areas in central Malawi include Kaliyeka, Mchesi and Kawale townships of Lilongwe District where numerous households suffered extensive damage.
The worst flooding hit around 18:30 local time Saturday after Mchesi River burst its banks. The Malawi News Agency (MANA) said 202 households are in dire need of emergency relief assistance and over 1 000 people have been left homeless.
In Usisya, Nkhata Bay District of the Northern Region of Malawi, at least 88 houses have been destroyed, two church buildings and one teacher's house, MANA reported.
Nkhata Bay Assistant District Disaster Risk Management Officer Oswel Mkandawire said they expect the number of affected households to increase as officials are on the ground to assess the damage.
Since November, the Nkhata Bay District has been hit by a series of natural disasters which have left many people homeless and others injured while earlier last month, storm winds destroyed property for 45 households in Traditional Authority (TA) Malenga Mzoma.
In Phwezi, Rumphi District of the Northern Region of Malawi, close to 73 households sustained severe damage after the Lunguzi River burst its banks, washing away vehicles and structures and injuring six people.
"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 Village Headman VundaSenior GVH Vunda said.
MANA quoted locals saying the culverts through which the water passes through were chocked up, allowing the water to overflow. The villagers urged authorities to construct a bridge that would allow more water to flow freely.
A similar natural disaster hit the district in 2001 when hundreds of households were left homeless after the Lunguzi River overflowed.
Featured image credit: Government of Malawi