Floods leave thousands desperate in Chikwawa

Floods leave thousands desperate in Chikwawa

As many as thousands of people living in the Shire valley district of Chikwawa were left desperate after flash floods hit in the early hours of Friday,14th January 2022.

People of Jombo village, Sekeni village and Kanthema villages in Chikwawa were caught unware after flooding waters brought down walls of their homes and washed away livestock and crops.

The waters flooded after heavy rains continued in the area with Friday as the culmination of it all, leaving thousands homeless and losing some of their valuable possessions in the process.

A survey in the area showed that many people’s homes were halfway submersed in the water putting their survival as well as their health at risk.

In the Kanthema villages in T/A Kasisi, many households were flooded with water such that people will have to drain their homes to find a place to sleep. Some houses have fallen off; their livestock washed away.

Bereu has experienced a similar fate as Mwanza river was filled to the brim and surplus waters flooded to the nearby homes, prayers houses and other business places. This water went on to destroy peoples crops on the banks of the river.

In Nchalo, Sekeni village and the nearby location of Jombo have been affected by flooding caused by Nkombezi river. A nearby dike was washed away by the water, exposing Sekeni village which was all in water. People were seen crossing deep waters to get to the road and others sat desperately on the verandas of their half-submerged homes. Fast waters were seen flowing in Jombo village, destroying homes and rendering many shelterless.

Speaking from one of the areas, Lawrence Kamoto, who is ward councilor for Ndalanda Ward, expressed shock at the state in which the people of his area are.

Residents of Kanthema village attempt to dig out the road to make way for the water

“Today is a sad day for us. This area has experienced flash floods caused by heavy rains that we had this morning. Many homes have been destroyed and livestock have been swept away. People are hopeless and we only hope that well-wishers come and assist.” Said Kamoto.

Lawrence Kamoto, Ward Councilor for Ndalanda Ward

Lower shire valley districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa are some of the disaster prone areas in Malawi. The area experiences droughts and flooding almost every year impoverishing many families. This year, Nsanje district has been affected as well leaving many people homeless. A report from the Department of Disaster Management affairs in the district shows that as many as 750 households have been affected. Many of these households have had their homes destroyed and livestock washed away.

The area has been experiencing persistent rainfall over the last week. This was indicated by the department of climate and metrological survey who warned of flooding in the area as a result of heavy rains in the country.

Chikwawa diocese, through Cadecom an arm of the Social Services Directorate issued the same warning all indications leading to flooding.

The diocese is calling on government, Non-governmental organizations and well-meaning individuals to assist the people in this area with food items, tarpaulins, construction kits, plastic sheets, tents and housing units.

A dyke is cu5t off and almost immersed in the water leaving Sekeni village in Nchalo exposed