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Cyclone displaces over 5000 people, destroys roads in Chikwawa

By Leah Malimbasa and Noel Chimwala

Chikwawa: Tropical cyclone Freddy has destroyed 1, 112 houses in Chikwawa comprising of 676 male-headed households and 436 female-headed households rendering 5004 people homeless.

The incessant downpour which started on Friday has also destroyed Mikalango Bridge at Misewu-folo, and the road connecting Domasi area and Kamuzu bridge.

Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) Relief Officer for the district, Humphrey Magalasi told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that the displaced people are staying in evacuation centres and camps.

“The people affected are from the areas of Traditional Authorities, Ngabu, Lundu, Makhuwira, Masache and Ngowe where houses are collapsing due to moisture, so far the district has recorded one  death and three injuries in T/A Makhuwira,” said Magalasi.

Following the cyclone, Chikwawa District Council held an inter-cluster meeting on Monday where cluster leads and co-leads presented an update on what they are doing to contain the situation.

Shelter and camp cluster indicated that so far camps are at Jombo, Ngabu, Grain Bank, Lundu, Kasambwe, Nkhwazi Evacuation centre in Makhuwira adding that the people at the camps are in need of food items and blankets.

The health and Water Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH) cluster led by Chief Preventive Officer  for Chikwawa District Hospital, Veronica Mkukumila said power problems which started on Saturday 11 March has affected the operations at the hospital  as they have also been hit by water challenges due to the problem.

“We will ensure the evacuation centres, schools and camps have good mobile toilets to ensure hygiene as a preventive measure to Cholera outbreak,” she said.

She added that they are lobbying for materials as well as transport support from partners for the ambulances to move from one place to another in times of injuries.

As of Monday, the country recorded 99 deaths in total, with 16 people reported missing.

10,000 households have been displaced in the southern region and 39 camps have been set.

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