Floods displace 300 households in Karonga

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Raging floods have rendered over 300 households destitute in Karonga district amidst fears of a recurring Cholera outbreak.

District Commissioner (DC) Richard Hara disclosed that one boy from Mwagomba village is reportedly missing.

He said in an interview yesterday that the heavy downpours that the district experienced in the last four days have caused swelling of rivers such as Rufilya, Kibwe, North Rukuru and Changwina which have now flooded.

Rice and cassava fields have also been submerged by the water hence raising fear of food shortage among the affected households.

“The district has in recent days received rains of up to 50 millimetres in some parts, houses have collapsed and sadly a boy has gone missing. The victims are seeking refuge in a number of camps that have been opened in schools, churches and community based organisations (CBOs) from which they will be supported by government,” Hara said.

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He then appealed for help from various stakeholders saying the relief items in their stock can only cater for 150 households.

Some of the items needed are plastic sheets, kitchen utensils, beddings, mosquito nets and chlorine for treating drinking water.

The Sunday Times has however established that assessment and rescue teams are failing to reach some of the areas since most of the roads are now impassable.

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Meanwhile, DC Hara has expressed worry that the district might again register cases of Cholera which claimed seven lives few months ago, since most toilets and pit latrines have been damaged by the floods.

“We are worried, not long ago we were declared cholera free after going for 21 days with no new cases of Cholera registered. But as rains continue issues of sanitation and hygiene are likely to be compromised and the outbreak could be back,” he explained.

The most affected areas are those of Traditional Authority Kilupula, Mwakaboko, Mwirang’ombe and some parts of Wasambo where figures of the victims are expected to rise as rains continue.

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In a related development motorists on the M5 road along the lakeshore were on Friday night left stranded after the bursting of Lweya River which flooded the road.

District Information Officer for Nkhata Bay Aliko Munde said the district has been receiving heavy rains continuously in the last five days which have so far damaged roads and crop fields in most lakeshore districts.

This comes at a time when the Department of Disaster Management (Dodma) has been under criticism for failing to set up formal evacuation centers in disaster prone districts.

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