Chakwera declares all flood-hit districts in Malawi as disaster areas


Following floods that have affected over 48,216 households, killed 10 people and left 107 injured, President Lazarus Chakwera has declared all the districts hit by the floods as areas of disaster.

In a statement yesterday, Chakwera said the declaration, made under powers conferred upon him by Section 32(1) of the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act (1991), is effective January 26, 2021.

As a result of the Tropical Storm ANA, some parts of the country, especially in the Southern Region, have experienced a lot of heavy rainfall and strong winds since Monday this week. The rainfall has resulted in heavy flooding which has affected Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe, Zomba, Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Mulanje, Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi, Neno, Mwanza, Mchinji, and Dedza Districts.

In the affected areas, a lot of infrastructure, houses and household property have been damaged rendering the affected households displaced. Some people have also lost their lives as a result of the floods.

The floods have also damaged a lot of hectares of crops, washed away livestock and damaged infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

The Malawi leader has since appealed for humanitarian assistance from the international donor community, relevant United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations, the local private sector as well as all citizens of goodwill.

“I would like to assure you that Government will see to it that relief assistance is provided to all the affected people in the affected districts. May I also take this opportunity to appeal to the religious community to put our nation in prayer as we face this challenge,” Chakwera said.

Meanwhile, the Malawi Defence Force, Malawi Police Service, Malawi Red Cross Society and other partner agencies have already been deployed to undertake search and rescue operations.

Government through the Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and humanitarian partners have already started providing relief assistance to the affected households. However, due to the increasing number of affected people, the relief requirements are also increasing.