Published on November 28th, 2015 | by lawilink
PEOPLE OF NSANJE CRY FOR HELP
TO FACE THE FLOODS AGAIN
Some victims in this year’s floods in some parts of the country have sounded an alarm for further support ahead of this year’s rainy season saying the incident is bound to repeat itself.
Speaking during a meeting organized by the Environmental Education Resource Development Trust at Mwanavumbe Village in tradition Authority Mlolo (East Bank), the people expressed fear over the pending risk if the situation is not checked.
The people asked government and its partners to quickly divert Ruo river to its natural course and construct dykes at Makhanga to prevent future floods.
“We have no idea of going back to the uplands,” said Group village head Mwanavumbe, ‘That’s why we have come back to recover what we lost through our own works.” He added “we did not take our goats and clothes into the helicopters when they were rescuing us, we lost them all.” he added.
Mwanavumbe further said the idea should be to make Ruo river flow as before not moving them to the upper land.
While concurring with the people, Kalulu ward councilor, Rose Makiyi in Nsanje, said since April 2015, the victims in the tents have been left without further support hence their move to the original homes.
She further said it is difficult to move the people from lower to upper areas because the people struggle in those new areas since there are no education and health facilities.
On her part, Mrs. Rose Chikaonda, a resident in the area, said women of the area are distressed by the aftermath of the floods. “We are in Mozambique and we cannot take patients to the hospital since the floods washed away the bridges at Bangula and Fatima.” She added that this has resulted to high maternal and children’s deaths.
But one of the Environmental Scientist from Chancellor College, Sanudi Major said constructing dykes and diverting Ruo River back to its natural course is a good idea but not the only and main solution. He said this will need more time and resources for assessment hence expressed fears that floods may also happen this year in the area.
“We should consider that these floods were caused by multidisciplinary problems from Agriculture and Natural resources for instance, like the clearing of trees, so it’s better to work on the management of the environment.” He suggested that leaders from lower and upper Shire should meet and plan on how they should manage the environment. Sanudi further said all tributaries of Ruo and Shire rivers should be checked because any harm to them affects the lower Shire.
Ruo river boarders the southern tip of Malawi and Mozambique but has diverted from its original course due to last years’ floods thereby forming a lagoon. This has seen people of Makhanga settling in the center facing Ruo and Shire River in the easterly and western direction respectively.
According to the statistics from Group Village Mwanavumbe, around 300 lives were lost and thousands lost their households.
Following the floods earlier this year, Malawi president Peter Mutharika among others declared Nsanje as a disaster district.
By; Yamikani Ben Kamoto