Soon after Kamuzu shire river bridge is flooded

CHIKWAWA-(MaraviPost)-Twenty-three people have died and 11 are missing due to flood-prone areas in the southern parts of Malawi.

Heavy rains have hit the region and caused havoc to people, houses and gardens in over a week of the rains.

The development has forced President Peter Mutharika to declare a disaster zone in the affected districts, Maravi Post has learnt.

According to the Department of Disaster and Management (Dodma), 29 people have sustained severely injuries of various while 22 000 are now homeless.

The districts of Chikhwawa and Nsanje have since been cut off due to the heavy rains and flooding.

Dodma says the affected districts include Phalombe, Blantyre, Chikhwawa, Nsanje, Neno, Mwanza, Zomba.

Mutharika has since cancelled his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) activities in the north on Saturday to deal with the matter.

Presidential spokesman Mgeme Kalilani said Mutharika will go to the disaster zone in thw South to attend ton the unfortunate situation.

Kalilani said President Mutharika is “very concerned” with the situation and has meanwhile directed Dodma and the Ministry of Homeland Security to “urgently mobilise and coordinate emergency relief services to those affected.”

In a press statement, President Mutharika has also directed that the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) should swiftly move in and assist those trapped and displace by the floods and the rains of terror.

Briefing journalists at Parliament Building in Lilongwe before presenting his report on disasters affecting the country, Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi said government was already deploying army helicopters and rescue boats to Nsanje.

Mutharika has appealed for humanitarian assistance, from the international donor community, local organisations, faith-based relief agencies and individuals.

Weather experts say the rains, which started on Sunday, will continue in the coming days and flash floods.

The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (MET) director, Jolam Nkhokwe, attributed the severe weather conditions to low pressure area in Mozambique moving over to Malawi.

“The air mass has come over and we expect the rains to continue up to Saturday when the air mass will be heading back to Mozambique,”he said.

Nkhokwe said the rains could cause floods, and destroy property and endanger life.