Heavy rains in the Central Region of Malawi caused severe damage to the M5 Road (Nkhotakota-Salima road) which has become impassable forcing the Roads Authority (RA) to close it out from motorists.
Confirming the development, RA spokesperson Portia Kajanga said the road has been cut off at a place called Lisozi Bridge, 50 kilometers from Kaphatenga after a caravan was vandalized and the road submerged.
Kajanga has since advised motorists to use the Kasungu/Nkhotakota road through Nkhotakota Game Reserve as an alternative.
She has assured motorists that a contractor is currently on the ground working on the road so that it becomes useful soon. She hopes the work will be done in two days’ time.
Almost every rainy season the M5 road faces closure as it becomes severely damaged and impassable. However, while blaming the problem on vandalism, Kajanga also indicated that the road is too old and there is need for it to be reconstructed.
Explained Kajanga: “We need a lot of resources to reconstruct this road just like we have done with the Blantyre- Zomba and Liwonde-Mangochi roads. However, our institution is currently handicapped due to financial constraints,” she said.
Aside from the M5 road, Kajanga also cited Kammwamba-Phalula on the M1 road, where a caravan has been vandalized, the East Bank road where rocks and debris have blocked one side of the road and Kawale road near Share World in Lilongwe as some of the roads that have been affected by this year’s rains.
She explained that at Lisozi bridge, Kamwamba and Share World in Kawale, thieves have stolen materials that hold the surface of the road to allow water to pass through.
In a related development, strong wings accompanied by heavy rains have damaged property affecting 50 households in Mchotseni village in the area of Senior Chief Kanduku and 15 houses in Kagonamwake in S/C Nthache in Mwanza.
According to spokesperson for the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma), Chipiliro Khamula, the heavy thunderstorm started on midday on December 23.
He said a year-old baby and its mother sustained injuries after being hit by a fallen tree.
“We just received a preliminary report on the disaster and we are making arrangements to provide relief items to the affected people as quickly as possible,” he said.
Since October 12 this year, 19 districts across the country have been affected by disasters. Over 29 000 people have been affected in about 6000 households.
Dodma says it has managed to provide relief items to almost all affected areas.