Chakwera convinced there is link between cholera in Malawi and climate change


President Lazarus Chakwera says he does not doubt that there is a link between climate change and cholera in Malawi but he has called for more studies into the link.

Chakwera made the remarks in an interview with BBC last week.

The Malawi leader argued that following the devastating floods last year which affected several district in southern Malawi, there has been been an unprecedented level of water-borne diseases.

In Malawi, cholera has killed 1,093 people since March last year and the country has recorded over 33,608 cases.

Chakwera said cholera has not reached such levels in the country in over 20 years hence he believes the current outbreak is as a result of floods.

“But with all the flooding that took place last year, with water levels rising and with sanitation issues across the country that are dependent on pit latrines for example.

“And all of that being washed into streams and even where you have water pumps – because of those [water] levels, all of a sudden you saw outbreaks of water-borne diseases like cholera in a way that you’ve never seen before,” the president said.

He then called for more studies into the link saying: “So I would not doubt that all of this could be backed by more research.”

In late January last, Tropical Storm Ana hit many districts in southern Malawi, causing floods that left thousands of people homeless and destroyed infrastructure. Days later, Tropical Cyclone Gombe also caused similar effects in several districts in southern Malawi.

The current cholera outbreak started in March in Machinga in southern Malawi and has spread to all 29 health districts across the country.

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