At the end of December 2001, heavy rains, favorable for crop production, fell over much of Malawi causing flash floods in Koronga, Salima and Chikwawa districts. Following a rapid assessment of flood-affected areas in southern Chikwawa district, WFP reported the situation as not alarming, and that about 1,750 households were affected in 13 villages. Heavy rains continued at the beginning of January in central and northern parts of the country, moving south by the second dekad of the month. The heavy rains were due to a deep low pressure area situated over Mozambique, drawing in moist air from the Indian Ocean. Most areas over the Shire Highlands and the Shire Valley received heavy rainfall, beginning on 20 January. Although no serious flooding has so far been reported, many households in southern Malawi are still recovering from last season's floods. Furthermore, many of the Lower Zambezi River tributaries, including the Shire River, originate in southern Malawi, and could pose a risk to households in the Zambezi Basin in Mozambique.
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