The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) has warned of possible flooding in Zomba City due to the weakening of Chagwa Dam on Zomba Mountain.
In a statement issued last evening, Dodma said the dam, which is about 14 kilometres from Zomba District Council offices, is prone to flooding after one of its major embankments eroded due to heavy rains.
“According to engineering experts, the dam, which measures 300×100 metres, is likely to burst in the event of heavy and incessant rains and this may lead to flooding of Mulunguzi River, affecting areas and institutions such as Mangasanja, Old Naisi, Mulunguzi Secondary School, Matawale and other areas along Mulunguzi River banks,” reads the statement signed by Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi.
Dodma has since urged people living around Zomba City and along Mulunguzi River banks to be on high alert and to devise quick evacuation plans in case of an emergency.
Further, the statement said Dodma has engaged engineers to reduce the volume of water in the dam while working on a lasting solution.
The warning has come as Malawi is currently grappling with recovery efforts following devastation caused by tropical cyclone Idai which has been described as the worst to hit the southern Africa region. The cyclone came on the heels of earlier flooding caused by week-long incessant rains, mostly in parts of the Central and Southern regions.