Heavy rains characterized by hailstorms have destroyed thousands of houses affecting 4,842 people while crops have been washed away in Traditional Authorities Zulu, Simphasi and Dambe in Mchinji.

Mchinji District Council Disaster Desk Officer Kingsley Chioko Banda said heavy rains which fell on 3rd to 4th January 2017 in Group Village Headman Kamwendo in Nseche, Chalilima, Kalimang’ombe, Kamwendo and Chaferamthengo villages in T/A Zulu have displaced 893 people and damaged 59 hectares of crops.

Banda said in Senior Chief Dambe and T/A Simphasiarea 449 hectares have been affected saying 77 people were injured and taken to hospital for treatment and only 10 were admitted.

“A total of 8,070 pupils have been affected by stormy rains as most of their school materials and blocks have been destroyed especially at Gandali CDSS, Kamwendo Model and Kamwendo TDC, some school blocks in six schools had their roofs blown off.”Chioko Banda added.

Meanwhile the displaced people need food, shelter materials, blankets, kitchen utensils among other things.

According to the District Assessment Team, there are fears of water borne disease outbreaks such as cholera due to poor sanitation as most toilets have collapsed.

Malawi suffered heavy flooding and storms in 2016 which led to President Professor Arthur Mutharika declaring a State of National Disaster.

The forecast for 2017 suggests there will be heavy floods and storms as well.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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