This year’s Christmas and Boxing Day turned out to be tragic for two rural families which lost five relatives in separate drowning incidents in Lilongwe District.
Lilongwe Police Station said yesterday the Christmas Day incident saw seven-year-old Leticia Sayinani and the Chifundo brothers—James (6) and Evance, two months—being swept away in the Kadakala Stream at around 5:30pm.
Only the bodies of James and Leticia were recovered on Boxing Day in the stream and were later buried. But the body of Evance, who is believed to have been strapped at the back by probably Leticia, has not been recovered.
The deceased came from Sitolo Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Malili in the district.
The Boxing Day incident saw Naliswana Chayambakale, 29, and Lameck Maika, drowning as they attempted to cross the Mulolo River which had burst its banks.
Chiyambakale was Lameck’s mother and after both had earlier worked in their garden, the mother strapped Lameck at her back in her hope of both crossing the river safely.
When the news of the drowning incident spread in the community, people from the deceased’s Mulolo Village, T/A Mazengela at Nathenje mounted a search. They found the two bodies downstream several hours later.
Lilongwe Police Station spokesperson Kingsley Dandaula said yesterday that the two tragic incidents should act as a warning to other people to refrain from taking chances in crossing rivers or streams which tend to break their banks during the rainy season.
“Experts have warned that we will experience El Nino rainfall patterns, whereby heavy rain will fall within short periods. This means floods will be common place, so parents and guardians near water bodies must ensure the safety of their children and relatives, by stopping them from straying to rivers or streams,” he said. n