Six killed in Malawi floods as President tours affected area


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Six killed in Malawi floods as President tours affected area

Six people have been confirmed dead in Lower Shire Valley district of Chikwawa, Malawi as President Binguwa Mutharika Sunday made an aerial tour of the flood-prone area where close to 50,000 people have been displaced or have their houses and crop fields destroyed by raging floods.

Gertrude Kamange, a legislator in the district, told journalists three boys from one family were swept away by floods as they were coming from a football match , while a family of three were also killed. Two bodies are yet to be recovered. “It’s really tragic; people are losing houses and gardens almost daily as the rains do not seem to relent,” he said. Mutharika, who started his aerial tour in the southernmost district of Nsanje, on the border with Mozambique, expressed concern that the floods will affect food production since large tracts of crop fields have been destroyed. He therefore urged people to consider moving to higher ground, assuring “my government is ready to assist you building houses, schools and clinics… Please let us cooperate so that floods would cease to be a perennial problem.”

Residents in the flood-prone Lower Shire Valley have been resisting government ‘s call for them to move to upland area because they claim the low-lying areas have alluvial soils good for agriculture while the upland areas are rocky and patchy. Some also believe they will be cursed if they abandon their ancestral lands where their ancestors were buried. But President Mutharika said they could build houses on the higher ground and continue farming in the valley. It doesn’t make sense to continue staying where you know you stand the risk of being swept away by floods,” he said. At least, 14 districts across the country have been affected by the floods and over 70, 000 people have been affected

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