Heavy rains and hailstorms have caused damage to scores of houses and crop fields in Traditional Authority (T/A) Santhe and sub-T/As Nyaza and Chaima in Kasungu.
According to a report from district disaster risk management desk officer Steven Sakhama, 664 households have had their houses either completely or partly damaged while others had their roofs blown off.
On January 7 and 8, areas of T/A Santhe and ST/As Nyaza and Chaima received heavy rains that were accompanied by hailstorms and strong winds. Affected villages included Mtoso, Chisinga, Chatanga, Zombo, Chitsulu, Matondo, Saiko, Kakhuza, Longwe, Kamphako and Mphamba, according to the report.
The report says the rains also damaged about 1 611 hectares of different crops.
“The rains damaged 1 255 hectares of maize, 224 hectares of soy beans, 100 hectares of tobacco and 32 hectares of beans,” reads part of the report.
Meanwhile, Sakhama has appealed for urgent assistance to those affected.
He said: “As an immediate solution, the affected households require urgent assistance in form of foodstuffs, plastic sheets, kitchen items, blankets and farm inputs.
“As long-term solutions, there is need for sustainable housing extension services, afforestation and natural tree regeneration management and also downscaling weather forecasts early warning systems.”
Kasungu District experienced a long dry spell like other districts, but since the rains resumed this January, the rains have been destructive. n