Disasters claimed three people’s lives and affected 2 483 families in some parts of the country in the first week of the New Year.

A Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) weather-related disasters and response 2021/22 season update shows that 25 people have been injured due to strong winds, stormy rains and lightning.

Khamula: We are reaching out to the affected

The 2 483 affected families and three deaths between January 1 and 7 brings the total number of affected families and deaths to 16 286 and 33 respectively since July 2021. The disasters are mainly strong winds, flash floods, lightning and stormy rains.  

In an interview yesterday, Dodma spokesperson Chipiliro Khamula said most of the affected families are female-headed households.

He said: “Of the total affected households, 8 229 are female headed while 8 057 are male headed.

“The department, in collaboration with various humanitarian partners, has been reaching out to affected households with relief assistance. So far, Dodma has reached out to 13 385 households, representing 86 percent of the affected households.”

Khamula said the most affected districts are Mangochi, Lilongwe, Ntchisi, Zomba, Phalombe, Balaka, Kasungu, Mchinji, Mulanje, Nkhotakota, Mzimba, Karonga, Chikwawa, Nsanje and Machinga.

Meanwhile, 310 families in Chikwawa have been rendered destitute following flash floods that occurred on Sunday and Monday in traditional authorities (T/As) Lundu and Ngabu that affected 476 households.

In an interview, Chikwawa district commissioner Ali Phiri said the displaced families, from group village head Nkhwazi in T/A Ngabu, are currently camped at Cross Life Church in the area.

He said: “For now we are organising some food items while waiting for Dodma and some well-wishers to help.

“The most required assistance should be food items, household items, plastic sheets and logistical support.”

The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services in a weekly weather statement issued on January 9, indicates that the week between January 2 and 8 has been the wettest since the onset of the 2021/22 rainfall season. 

The report also warn of further flooding as the country is expected to receive widespread rains from tomorrow to Sunday January 16.

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