The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (MET) says some parts of Southern and Northern regions will likely experience floods this week due to heavy rainfall.
MET director Jolam Nkhokwe, in a statement made available to The Nation, says the floods will be orchestrated by a continued rainfall pattern, especially from Saturday.
He said: “As from Saturday to Sunday, most areas in the South, Centre and North of the country are expected to experience enhanced rainfall activities with heaviest rains over the South due to a very deep low pressure system.
“Due to the already exceptionally heavy rains that have been occurring during the past weeks, the locally heavy rainfall episodes are likely to cause flooding in most flood-prone areas, worsened by siltation due to environmental degradation in combination with poor drainage system in cities and towns.”
As a precautionary measure, Nkhokwe says people should avoid crossing flooding areas and swelling rivers, remain indoors, avoid playing on open grounds, seeking shelter under trees, and moving in the rains as well as physically interacting with electrical appliances.
He also urges motorists, mainly those driving on dusty roads, to slow down at the first sign of rain as the surfaces become slippery due to loss of friction.
Nkhokwe says the public should also emphasise on tree-planting to enhance reduction of future catastrophes such as floods and to act as a windbreak.
Meanwhile, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) spokesperson Chipiliro Khamula says they are ready to deploy search and rescue teams in flood areas.
He says the department strategically stockpiled relief items in its warehouses so that people affected by disasters should be reached on time. He says the department is also in the process of replenishing its stock in the warehouses.
Said Khamula: “Moreover, the department, in collaboration with humanitarian partners and other government entities, has been conducting simulation exercises on various emergencies to enhance knowledge on how various players in the disaster risk management cycle can respond to emergencies.
He further said the department is engaging various councils to relocate people living in flood-prone areas to safer places, emphasising that this is a long-term process which is bearing fruits.
Khamula said 350 households that were living in flood-prone areas have voluntarily relocated to safer places in Mwalija Villlage, Traditional Authority Kasisi in Chikwawa District.
He said 50 households have also relocated to safer places in Nsanje, with more expected to follow suit.
About two weeks ago, Dodma oriented news reporters and editors on disaster risk management (DRM) to equip them to effectively report DRM issues from an informed point of view, thereby assisting in reducing disaster risks and echoing the calls for people to relocate to safer places.