In light of heavy downpours being experienced in different parts of Malawi, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs says 16 deaths have been recorded since the onset of rains in October last year (2017) to date.
This follows the disasters that affected 17,585 households in 20 districts countrywide.
In an interview, the department’s Public Relations Officer, Chipiliro Khamula, attributed the situation to stormy rains, hailstorms and strong winds that caused damage to houses, household property, infrastructure, humans and loss of lives.
“Since October 12, 2017, a cumulative total of 96,800 people in 17,585 households have been stuck by disasters in Mchinji, Lilongwe, Dedza, Dowa, Ntcheu, Salima, Kasungu and Nkhotakota in the Central Region.
“In Southern Region, disasters have struck Blantyre, Mulanje, Zomba, Mwanza, Phalombe, Machinga, Mangochi and Chiradzulu. The North has Chitipa, Rumphi, Karonga and Nkhata Bay as the affected districts,” he said.
Khamula said the department was still responding to both, outstanding and new reports on disasters with relief items and that the department has so far reached out to 14,404 affected households with food and non –food items such as plastic sheets, pails, cups and salt.
He reiterated that the department has put in place measures to reduce the risk of natural disasters occurrence which, among other things, include promoting community-based early warning systems in which the communities themselves warn each other in the event of sensing danger, thereby reducing disaster impacts.