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Malawi floods kill more than 50, displace 200,000

People displaced by flooding are seen at Bangula evucuation camp, in Nsanje, Malawi

People displaced by flooding are seen at Bangula evucuation camp, in Nsanje, Malawi

Some 200,000 people in Malawi have been displaced by floods that have affected half of the country’s 28 districts.

The government has recorded at least 56 deaths and over 500 injuries, as of Wednesday. Forecasters have warned that more rain is on the way. Many of those affected are in evacuation camps because of floods that have destroyed their houses, damaged roads, washed away bridges and killed livestock.

Weather experts say the flooding was a result of a tropical cyclone that blew in from neighbouring Mozambique. MacDonald Clemence, one of the victims, said it was at midnight while he was fast asleep when he was awakened by the sound of something falling down with a thud.

He immediately woke others and found that it was a wall of their house, and immediately sought refuge at a chief’s house until the following morning when they were told to stay at camp set up in Nsanje. The roaring water which entered his house swallowed almost everything he had, but he managed to escape with his two children.

He said they are now hoping to receive food and blankets, and arrange a place in the upper land where to resettle. Malawi President Peter Mutharika has declared the 14 affected districts disaster areas and issued an urgent appeal for help. But the delivery of relief items that have started to trickle in is being hampered by flooded roads.

Francis Kadzokoya, a disaster risk management officer, said many relief items might have to be delivered by air.

“Probably we would want to call upon our mother department to help us with a helicopter so that we should be airlifting some of the relief items to the camps which cannot be accessed by the road,” said Kadzokoya.

Meanwhile, community health workers have been deployed in the camps to treat those in need of medical care and advise people on practices that help prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases. Bram Makawi, a senior disease control surveillance officer in the ministry of Health, said efforts are underway to prevent ailments like malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea and eye infections.

Similar floods in southern Malawi four years ago killed 276 people and displaced 230,000 others. Kadzokoya said the government is now planning to start relocating people from flood-prone areas to higher ground.

“I think we would actually do away with the aftermath of these serious disasters like the one we experienced in 2015, and even these we have just experienced in March 2019.”

However, forecasters have warned of another week of steady rain starting March 14 in parts of southern and northern Malawi. The rains are likely to cause more flooding.

Comments   

+1 #1 rubangakene 2019-03-16 19:06
That's climate change for you; no joke. People have to wake up and follow what the scientists say, plant more trees, stop depleting forests, etc. on the positive side I must say I envy those people with their "ugaali na sukuma wiki" fare.

I haven't had that combination for years; I must ask the missus to improvise something similar!
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0 #2 Akot 2019-03-16 22:28
Climate change is going to cause more of this kind of deplacement, so it's urgent ALL countries start protecting the earth!

It's been 3 weeks parts of europe are hit by strong winds, not to forget this winter has been so surprisingly so different, just as wild fires were destructive in summer!

European school children are out on street to demand concrete action by governments before it's too too late!

Africa needs to engage massively in tree planting, wetland protection/preservation, help people get electric/gas cookers so that fire wood use is reduced, over cultivated farm lands must be left to rest for a few years while untouched lands are used instead...!

It all comes to good governance, respect of the earth, clean/reasonable use of land riches, especially oil that has & continue to pollute lands/seas, right?...
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0 #3 Akot 2019-03-16 22:32
...Developed world should be ashamed for pretending giving leadership in fighting climate change for 30 years, yet things are now out of control, while they tax more in the name of environmental protection!

How can UN go on sharing meals with demon rulers who destroy the earth through dangerous governance that:

- misuse land riches,
- refugee camps so destructive to nature!

How will the earth cope in 20 years, as population increases so speedily, while land resources dwindle?

Museveni was so proud to say under him, Uganda population rose from -15 to +34 million, yet is not aware that only him, tribal leaders, elites live well & Uganda population is swelling with more poor!

How will Uganda, USA, Europe cope with continued migration swelling their already swollen populations?
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0 #4 Akot 2019-03-17 20:33
rubangakene, understood, but,

This is situation caused by climate change & the international community is aware of migration partly caused by this!

The earth is fighting for survival face to continued misuse of natural resources with exploding population making it worse!

Ugandans must start protecting nature, as this will bring our people to fight common cause with the rest of the world!

Ugandans can only start real preparation for a future the moment Museveni is thrown out in UNITY that will give him no chance to use them against one another, destroy any & just go on ruling a people who don't want him!

Have Ugandans not had enough of Museveni?

Are tribes fighting each other?

Why is UNITY to show Museveni way out not coming, especially as the demon is already assured of his lifetime post with the solide tribalistic system?
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