Malawi: Met Says Recent Flash Floods Are Manmade

18 January 2019

Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services has said the recent floods which wrecked havoc in Lilongwe can be attributed to human activities which could be avoided.

Chief Agriculture Meteorologist, Adams Chavula said the recent floods which occurred in Mchesi, Kawale and Chipasula in Lilongwe were man-made and that the city council could be blamed for not taking preventive measures before hand.

Chavula, therefore, advised all city and district councils to take preventive measures like abiding by by-laws when allocating land to citizens to avoid recurrence of disasters.

"Lilongwe City Council, other cities and district councils should strive to have good drainage systems to avoid recurrence of floods like those that were recently experienced in Lilongwe," he said.

Earlier this month, there were floods in Lilongwe.

According to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), Area 47, Kawale and Mchesi were among the most affected areas where a number of people were affected leaving some homeless and without food.

"Our land has been highly affected by man's own making, there is environmental degradation and what makes it more complicated is the issue of poor drainage systems.

"Our city and district councils are doing less to ensure there are better drainage systems around cities and our communities," Chavula said.

He said the meteorological department has evaluated the Lilongwe floods and established that the floods occurred due to poor drainage systems in the city, environmental degradation and the city council's failure to allocate proper land to its residents, among other factors.

"I would like to advise the city and district councils in the country to make sure they construct good drainage systems in their various cities and districts besides civic educating the citizens about the dangers of environmental degradation and its impact on the economy.

"Local councils also need to abide by land by-laws when allocating land. People should avoid building houses along the river banks," Chavula said.

He observed that if it were not for environmental degradation and poor drainage systems, the Lilongwe floods could have been avoided.

Recently, a resident of Chipasula, 70 year old William Mazoni who was affected by the recent floods told Mana people had cut the trees that Lilongwe City Council planted along some parts of Chipasula River and had settled in places the city declared not habitable.

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