Malawi is usually prone to disasters like heavy rains and dry spell. This growing season (2014/15 season), the rain delayed so much. Normally, Southern part of Malawi receives first rains in October or November but it started raining late December, 2014 especially after Christmas. The non-stop rain started on 3rd January, 2015 which caused a lot of damage thereafter. This report gives a brief overview of the damage by the floods.
The has been a lot of damage of houses, roads, bridges, household property and lives. Close to 200 people have lost their lives nationwide to floods. Some people are also missing and government and non-governmental organisations are embarked on retrieving the bodies of the people. More than 160,000 are displaced (about 48,000 households). Three quarters of the crop fields have been washed away in the Southern Region of Malawi which indicated the looming famine even next year. Most of these fields had fertilizer already applied hence even if people plant now (which they have to), it will difficult for them source fertilizer. Worst damage is in the Lower Shire (Chikwawa and Nsanje District) seconded by Zomba and Mangochi.
In Zomba town, many temporary and semi-permanent have been demolished by the continued pouring. Many rivers flooded and more than 20 people lost their lives. Many feeder roads are impassable this time around.
GVH Taulo’s four acre crop field has been completely washed away which already fertilizer applied of more than 6 (50kg) bags. Many people under him from villages Mailos, Khewa, Namboya, Likutu, Mukwaru, Taulo and Mhemera have been also very affected. More than 10 families are seeking refuge at Taulo Nursery School provided by FVM.
Temporary houses are those made of mud and unburned bricks usually without cement floor and iron sheets. Semi-permanent houses are those with either burned bricks or cement floors have not both plus iron sheets.
The road to Taulo is cut at both sides, from Zomba town and from Phalombe river as two bridges on each end have been washed away. From Zomba, 2.5km before Sunuzi Trading centre, the bridge is being washed away, and 6km south of Taulo Namadzi River Bridge has also been washed away. This means to reach Taulo headquarters, someone has to walk that distance or board a bicycle tax. This temporary bridges made by villages pose a threat to children who need to cross over to attend lessons at schools.
In Nandolo Area
I have been informed by Chief Nandolo and Ellena that many houses have been damaged as well in Nandolo. The neighbouring village to Nandolo (Nkundi) had lost 5 people, 2 from one family as their houses were washed away while they were sleeping. Very bad!