The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services has warned that the country is experiencing adverse weather conditions that could result in flooding in some parts of the country.
In a statement issued on November 28, the department says between November 29 and 30, some parts of the country, especially in the South, Central and Lakeshore areas would experience heavy rains associated with destructive winds.
The warning comes after some parts of the country have had medium to heavy rainstorms, causing damage to property in some parts of Chikwawa and Mwanza districts.
In part, the statement reads: “The anticipated heavy rains could cause localised flash flooding while strong winds could destroy property in some places. Therefore, to secure life and property, take necessary precautionary measures such as refraining from seeking shelter under trees and weak structures or moving in the open when there is thunderstorm in the vicinity.”
According to the Famine Early Warning System Network (Fewsnet), Malawi and its regional neighbours are this year to around March 2019 being hit by the El Nino weather phenomenon, which is associated with flooding and dry spells in some areas.
Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi two days ago urged people living in disaster-prone areas to move to safer places to avoid loss of life following damage caused to houses in Chikwawa and Mwanza districts.
He said government will provide enough resources to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) to enable it provide relief assistance to families affected by disasters.
“Government will provide enough so that these people are cautioned. We will use funds from the unforeseen circumstances fund and we will ensure that everyone affected gets relief assistance,” said Dausi.
In a written response, Dodma spokesperson Chipiliro Khamula said the department has a standby rescue equipment and personnel for deployment into disaster zones.
He said: “We have stockpiled relief items at our main warehouse in Ntcheu. Plans are at an advanced stage to do likewise in our other warehouses in Karonga, Blantyre and Lilongwe. This is to ensure that relief items are not out of reach whenever disaster strikes.”
Khamula added that Dodma had built evacuation centres in flood-prone districts of Chikwawa, Nsanje, Mangochi, Salima and Karonga.
Government under the Small Grants Scheme, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China, is constructing flood mitigating structures in Mangochi, Mwanza and Chikwawa districts.