President Lazarus Chakwera in his capacity as chairperson for the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) has consoled South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the death of 440 people from floods in KwaZulu-Natal Province.
Chakwera said in a Facebook post yesterday that Malawi and other Sadc countries stand in solidarity with Ramaphosa and all South Africans and pledged support.
He said: “And as chairperson for Sadc, Malawi is collaborating with her regional partners to urgently render the necessary moral and material support towards relief and recovery efforts aimed at ensuring a return to normalcy for the people of KwaZulu-Natal.”
Chakwera, who made reference to Malawi’s recent experience of natural disasters that left a trail of destruction in previous weeks, described the KwaZulu-Natal situation as touching and called on Sadc member States to unite in supporting South Africa during such a difficult situation.
Meanwhile, the South African government yesterday announced that it is going to deploy more than 10 000 troops to help with relief and rescue operations following devastation caused by the floods in the province.
Various South Africa media outlets reported that 63 people were still missing with close to 4 000 homes destroyed and more than 8 000 damaged.
KwaZulu Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala told the BBC yesterday that both the police and the army were involved in rescue operations and that six more bodies were discovered on Sunday.
The floods were triggered by heavy rainfall on Monday last week with the local media reporting that the rains that fell was equal to about 75 percent of South Africa’s average annual precipitation.
The floods in South Africa come several weeks after Malawi also faced similar extreme weather events due tropical storms Ana and Gombe that killed a total of 85 people and affected 1 154 298 others between January and March 2022.
Meanwhile, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services weekly update states that conditions are still favourable for the development of tropical cyclones in the South-West Indian Ocean and that there is possibility of tropical cyclone development to the north-west of Madagascar.