Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) has donated assorted relief items to 917 households affected by hailstorms in Balaka.
Hailstorms destroyed homes by hailstorms in traditional authorities Mbera, Nsamala, Phalula, Nyanyala, Mpoto, Amidu and Chanthunya in the district on January 19.
In an interview, Balaka District Council relief and rehabilitation officer Davie Chibani said the situation was dire among the affected people as they had no food.
He said: “Reports gathered by District Civil Protection Committee with Area Civil Protection Committees showed that the affected people needed urgent humanitarian relief, which we sourced from Dodma.
“However, we appeal to other well-wishers for more support.”
One of the beneficiaries, Asiyatu Akimu, said she struggled to get food as the hailstorms destroyed her foodstuffs.
“I was also injured by a wall which collapsed during the hailstorms,” she said.
Each household received 25 kilogrammes (kgs) of rice, two blankets and five kg of beans.
Traditional Authority Nsamala asked authorities to construct evacuation centres in his area.
“Most of the affected people are homeless; hence, the need for evacuation centres to offer them accommodation during times like these,” he said.
Besides Balaka, heavy rains also affected people in Mchinji, Mulanje, Zomba and Karonga districts.
Meanwhile, according to the Department of Meteorological Services and Climate Change, the country is expected to receive normal to above normal rainfall this year.