Malawi flood situation update 1-15 Apr 2003

On 10th and 11th April rising water level from Lake Malawi near Senga Bay submerged the village of Dalamkwanda in Salima District and 107 families were as a result displaced. The villagers have been shifted to a higher ground in a forest reserve close by. It is not yet known the total numbers of households affected by these latest floods in Salima District as assessments are still underway in other villages in the District. Earlier in the month Salima District received continuous rainfall in most parts of the District, particularly in TA Kuulunda. As a result of these earlier floods, 153 houses collapsed in 12 villages mainly from Kuulunda South Ward. Relief items are being sent by the Department of Disaster Preparedness and Management Affairs (DoPDMA) to Salima Distric to assist the flood affected victims.

Rumphi District provided an update on the landslides that occurred in Phoka-Chakaka-Junju areas, TA Kachulu on the 27th March 2003 and the flooding experienced in Chiweta EPA in TA Mwarwene by the North Rumphi and Salawe Rivers. As reported previously the disaster has claimed the lives of four people, all females from the one family in Khwati Village. In addition, the disaster has affected maturing and dry maize, groundnut and tobacco fields, washed away houses and bridges and has cut roads. Approximately 991.2 hectares and up to 1132 farming families in Phoka alone have been affected. The Department of Poverty and Disaster Management Affairs in collaboration with WFP have organised relief items to be given to those mostly affected.

The DoPDMA also provided relief items to Mchinji District for those affected by floods that occurred in that District on 27th and 30th March in STA This area previously experienced flooding on the 16th to 18th February, 2003 where 514 households were affected, many deserting their homes.

Dowa District reported of waterlogging conditions affecting 1,391 farm families from 38 villages in Kalonga A and B Agriculture Sections. Crops affected include 915.2 hectares of maize, 340 hectares of tobacco, 343 hectares of groundnuts, 195 hectares of beans, 3.8 hectares of sweet potato and 12 hectares of soya. Additional assessments are still underway to assess actual loss of crops.

Karonga District reported flash floods at Kaporo in TA Kilupula, occurring on the 5th April, 2003 at 4.00 a.m. The floods, caused by the River Nkhalamo, subsided by 11.00 a.m. Five villages were affected including Mponda, Kashata, Matukuta, Chakwera, and Chimalawanthu. According to initial assessments carried out by the FEM (Field Emergency Monitor) and Karonga Police, there was no serious damage in the affected villages. Likewise there also appeared to be limited damage to crops as maize gardens had been harvested. Rice fields were also flooded however initial assessments by the RDP indicate that there was also no marked damage to crops. Most people reported however that where water had entered houses, it had damaged food stocks. It is anticipated that if heavy rains continue, floods will reoccur. Historically the area experiences floods. The District Assembly is planning to conduct sensitization campaigns to warn people of possible reoccurrence of floods in the area and how they can protect themselves during such times.

Ntcheu District reported of a follow up visit made to those areas affected by floods which occurred in January. Observations noted that farmers who replanted now have maize at tasseling stage, that the majority of farmers planted local variety, which may not have matched the rainfall pattern, and the harvest will be very poor this season due to excess moisture which has caused leaching and yellowing in maize. In addition, according to the local leaders, villages around the affected area are drinking unprotected water from wells as the borehole at Mafuwa Health facility which supplies water to the surrounding communities cannot meet the demand.


Three cholera cases were detected in Chikwawa District from 5th to 11th April 2003. The cases were from Mkwana Village, T/A Maseya where one case was recorded, and in Mkadana and Mbondera Villages in T/A Chapananga where one case in each village was reported.


Mchinji District reported that there were reports of a scabies outbreak in a number of communities; however the BP paint used to treat scabies is inadequate in the health centres.

The Joint WFP/FAO Crop & Food Supply Assessment Mission is taking place from 7th to 25th April 2003.

WFP is delivering messages to the beneficiaries regarding food rations changes in April-May and the end of the distributions in June.

The VAC baseline survey for Malawi, which is being coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Planning & Development, chair of the Malawi VAC will start on 29th April to end June 2003. The survey is being carried out in collaboration with the Regional VAC and it is shifting into a livelihood assessment approach. Simultaneous with this, WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA are conducting a follow-up community-based mortality survey and health situation assessment in 40 villages.

Lilongwe 15 April 2003