By Mel Frykberg
Johannesburg – The number of people killed and the damage caused to homes and properties in Malawi following the recent floods is expected to rise, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
In a statement, UN Secretary-General António Guterres extended his condolences to the Malawi government and families of flood victims across the country after reports that the flooding had affected approximately 115 000 people, particularly in the south of the country, and killed at least 23 over the last few days.
Guterres added that he was deeply saddened by the loss of life as UN assessment teams try to reach those affected in new areas with more than 80 percent of the country’s hydro-electricity capacity down, seriously impacting the power supply.
On Friday, Malawian President Peter Mutharika declared a State of Emergency in the areas hit hardest by the rains and flooding, which followed the formation of a “tropical disturbance” over the Mozambique Channel earlier in the week.
Search and rescue teams from Malawi’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs, have been working with local partners to deliver relief to affected people, including tents, plastic sheets, maize, rice, beans, blankets and kitchen utensils, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Homeland Security.
The World Food Programme (WFP) has deployed two boats to accompany the assessment and response; the UN Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF) is providing drones; and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in collaboration with the WFP, is supporting mapping using satellite imagery. African News Agency.