Northern Malawi village hit hard by fatal floods, home and crop damage
Heavy rainfall hit parts of Malawi on Monday, causing flash floods that left at least one person dead and many reported injured.
The Nyasa Times said a 16-year-old boy died and others were taken to the hospital at Chilumba following rains that left Karonga, a village along the western edge of Lake Malawi, under water.
Severe flood warnings remained in place as more than 50 families fled their damaged homes for shelter. The flooding also caused significant crop damage, local officials said.
In recent years, Malawi has experienced patterns of alternating drought and flooding that have severely impacted crops and food security. Two years ago, according to World Bank, the seasonal rainfall was the highest ever recorded, with floods that left more than a million people displaced across the country’s south.
The subsequent drought, affecting a number of southern African nations, has left Malawians in their worst food crisis in 10 years, with about 40 percent of the population unable to meet their annual food needs during the 2016-2017 cycle. A comparable percentage of Malawi’s children experience stunted growth because of malnutrition, according to an Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS) report.
The ACAPS projections say average to above average rainfall is likely during an anticipated La Niña weather pattern, with beneficial rains welcome but a risk of flooding impacts like those seen in Karonga.