Deadly floods displace thousands in Malawi, Mozambique

Deadly floods displace thousands in Malawi, Mozambique

Heavy rainfall and flooding in Malawi has killed 170 people and displaced about 100,000 others, according to a BBC report from Jan. 16. At least 25 others have died in Mozambique. Some areas saw a month's worth of rainfall in a 24-hour period.

Malawi Lower Shire District Superintendent Rev. Gershom Kwerakwera says most members of the Kalenso and Bangula Nazarene churches in Malawi had been displaced. The Lower Shire District was hit hard with flooding, he said, because it is where water passes to the Indian Ocean through the Shire River.


On Jan. 15, Rev. Kwerakwera sent photos (pictured above) and  the following report:

The river has flooded to many villages, including trading centers such as Bangula, where we have two of our churches: Kalenso and Bangula. We are keeping some victims in our churches, and most of our members and non-church members are displaced and affected with these floods.

I thank God that other organizations and the Malawi Defense Force rescue teams are helping reallocate these victims and provide food. This is not just the situation in one area, but it is countrywide. Some have already died. Some bodies have been found, while other bodies have been washed away. It is a very sad situation.

The district is in desperate need of prayer, Rev. Kwerakwera said, as well as items such as food, clothing, blankets, plastics, paper, buckets, pots, plates and cups.

On Jan. 14, the Malawi Defense Force rescued an estimated 1,000 people from isolated areas, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Mozambique, Madagascar and Zimbabwe have also been experiencing heavy rainfall this month, which has knocked out electricity in some areas and damaged roads, bridges and crops. The South African National Defense Force has sent troops to flood-stricken areas of Mozambique, where floods have affected about 10,000 families.

OCHA reported on Jan. 15 that rainfall was expected to decrease in Mozambique and southern Malawi, but heavy rainfall was expected to continue over northern Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Madagascar throughout the week.