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Malawi Floods Kill More Than 50, Displace 200,000



About 200,000 people in Malawi are displaced due to floods affecting half of the 28 districts in the country. The government has recorded at least 56 deaths and over 500 injuries since Wednesday. The forecasters warned that rain is still on the way.

Many of them were affected in evacuation camps due to floods that destroyed their houses, damaged roads, washed bridges and killed cattle.

Experts say that the flood was a consequence of a tropical cyclone that exploded from neighboring Mozambique.

People displaced by floods are seen at the Bangula evacuation camp in Nsanja, Malawi.

People displaced by floods are seen at the Bangula evacuation camp in Nsanja, Malawi.

MacDonald Clemence, one of the victims, said that it was at midnight while he was sleeping heavily when the sound of something that fell with a blunt blow awakened him. He promptly awakened others and found that it was the wall of their house, and immediately sought refuge in the house of the boss until the next morning when they were told to remain in a camp set up in Nsanja.

The rickety water that went into his house swallowed almost everything he had, but he managed to escape with two children.

He said that they now hope to get food and blankets and organize a place in the upper part of the country where they will move.

President of Malawi Peter Mutharika declared 14 affected areas in disasters and issued an urgent call for help.

Agness Milonje, a flood victim in southern Malawi, is gathering pieces of his house damaged by floods.

Agness Milonje, a flood victim in southern Malawi, is gathering pieces of his house damaged by floods.

However, the delivery of parts of the aid that started to cure, interfered with flooded roads.

Francis Kadzokoia, a Disaster Risk Management Officer, said many things could have been delivered by plane.

"We would probably like to invite our parenting department to help us with the helicopter, so we could transfer some of the help areas to camps that can not be accessed through the road," Kadzokoia said.

In the meanwhile, community health workers are deployed in camps to treat those in need of medical assistance and advise people on practices that help prevent the onset of infectious diseases.

Bram Makawi, senior health inspector at the Ministry of Health, said efforts are being made to prevent diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, and eye infections.

Displaced flood victims share aid elements in Nsanja, Malawi.

Displaced flood victims share aid elements in Nsanja, Malawi.

Similar floods in southern Malawi four years ago killed 276 people and displaced 230,000 others.

Kadzokoia said the government is now planning to begin moving people from flood-prone areas to a higher level.

"I think we would actually end this serious catastrophe, such as the one we experienced in 2015, and even those that we just experienced in March 2019."

However, forecasters have warned of another week of rain that begins on March 14 in parts of southern and northern Malawi. Rain will probably cause more floods.


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