Likoma District Commissioner Charles Mwawembe says heavy rains being experienced on the northern Malawi island of Likoma have worsened mobility problems.
Mwawembe said on Wednesday safety of the people has also been compromised because Lake Malawi is not stable.
“Travellers encounter storms, which are life threatening. However, people have no choice as they get things from the mainland. Even for workers to get salaries, they have to travel to Nkhata Bay,” said Mwawembe.
The DC said with the absence of MV Ilala, people are also paying more to travel. He said some pay as much as K4 000, while on MV Ilala they used to pay K800 to get to Nkhata Bay.
Mwawembe said the situation is also affecting students as they fail to get to schools on time.
“The students have to hustle to travel, and a number of them are now learning here. The sad part of it, is that there are no alternatives to the problem,” he said.
Traditional Authority Mkumpha said people and their luggage also get wet while travelling, a development he said was heavily affecting travellers.
“We are in a big mess. We travel by God’s mercy, otherwise all is not well. Chances of getting fever or sick are also high, but it is only God who is protecting us,” said Mkumpha
Nkhata Bay police public relations officer Martin Bwanali said the rains are a misery to the people since they have no cheap alternative.
He said some people are also being forced to travel on uncertified boats.
“There are times when we go to confiscate the uncertified boats; passengers argue with police telling us to leave them alone.
“They say that out of frustration. However, as police, we are on guard and confiscate the unlicensed boats and this time around we only see licensed boats,” said Bwanali.