Malawi News Agency (Lilongwe)

1 April 2014

Malawi: Heavy Rains Render 500 Families Homeless in Nkhata Bay

Nkhata Bay — About 489 families in Nkhata Bay District have been rendered homeless following damage of their houses due to heavy rains which have been falling for the past four days.

The district's Assistant District Disaster Risk Management Officer (ADDRIMO), Oswel Mkandawire, said four traditional authorities have been badly affected, especially those along Limphasa and Lweya rivers which were flooded due to prolonged rains.

"In TA Timbiri, we have recorded 117 homeless families while in TA Fukamalaza 30 families have been affected. In Senior Chief Mkumbira 208 houses have been damaged," Mkandawire explained, adding that 134 families in TA Mankhambira are also homeless following damage of their houses.

Meanwhile, 47 families are camping at Chikale Primary School after their houses completely got damaged.

Statistics relating to crop damage were not available as Mkandawire's office and that of Agriculture had not done assessment due to high water levels in the affected areas.

"We are yet to assess crops that have been damaged because we are waiting for the water level to be low so that the assessment can be carried out smoothly," Mkandawire said.

He has since appealed to individuals, companies and other well wishers to come in and assist the victims.

On her part, Village Headwoman Timbiri, whose area has been seriously affected, said all the crops they were expecting to harvest in few weeks to come, have been damaged and washed away by the heavy rains.

"The wetland at Limphasa River is fertile and most farmers rely on this wetland as it even feeds people in Mzuzu. To us it is a big blow as we have lost food that we thought we would rely on," Village headman Timbiri said.

The Village Headwoman, whose real name is Jane Mwase, then called on well-wishers and government to come in quickly and assist the affected families.

Nkhata Bay District is amongst the most disaster-prone districts in the country.

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