Lower Shire Valley districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa hit hard by Cyclone Anna

Lower Shire Valley districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa hit hard by Cyclone Anna

Warnings were clear, signs unfolding and all weather predictions foretelling of heavy rains caused by a cyclone, but none ever thought the damage would be as worse.

Sunday evening, 23rd January,2022, saw the genesis of relentless down pour of rains that lasted almost 36 hours. As predicted by weather experts, this rainfall pattern was experienced over the southern part of Malawi, filling every stream as they flowed down south into the Shire river in the low lying districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa.

Some of the homes that have been destroyed

This exposed many areas that lie on low and flat land to excess waters from the rivers washing away their property and destroying their homes. In the areas of Traditional Authority Katunga, Kasisi, Lundu, Ngabu, Maseya, Chapananga, Makhuwira, Mloro, Mbenje and Tengani among others, a vast ocean of flooding waters has been the sight to prove the damage for almost a week.

An aerial view of the flooding showing one of the points where the road has been cut

Preliminary findings by DODMA on the damage of the flooding estimate that as many as hundreds of thousands of families have been displaced and losing their valuable property in the process. Businesses in the lower shire have been heavily affected as the main M1 road has been cut off at different points of its stretch from the base of the escarpment at Thabwa to Nsanje; businesses are operating at a local level only. The whole of this part lost power and its now getting to six days ever since Escom supplied electricity to the inhabitants.

Currently, there are 41 camps that are set to be established and others are already in operation throughout Nsanje and Chikwawa.

All these point to the fact that this area has seen flooding that many say has never been experienced before. A few lives have been lost, homes have been swept away leaving thousands in desperate need for shelter, property has been lost and a windfall of pandemics close on the horizon.

No solace for livestock too

These people need urgent help. The dignity of human life has been greatly degraded and man no longer seems to be the image that tells of the beauty that is God.