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THOUSANDS of people are trapped in their homes in Southern Malawi as floodwaters rip through towns and villages.
More than 1200 families are stranded in houses in the town of Chikhwawa alone – as heavy rains hit more than 110,000 people nationwide.
“The floods began in January and are getting worse and worse as the rainy season continues,” says Lloyd Ngwira, Disaster Risk Management Coordinator at Plan International in Malawi.
“The water is destroying homes and vital crops, meaning people have been forced to take up temporary shelter in schools and mosques.”
“In Chikwawa, only 166 people have been rescued – the rest are waiting for canoes to rescue them from their flooded neighbourhoods.”
Conditions in temporary camps are also believed to be deteriorating – putting children and their families at risk.
“There is a lot of congestion in the temporary camps, which raises serious health risks,” says Lloyd Ngwira.
“We are also concerned that there is not enough medical attention for people who have been displaced and water may not be safe to drink.”
Plan Malawi has distributed emergency supplies to more than 2000 school children and their families in Nsanje District.
The relief items included blankets, plastic sheeting, cooking oil, soap and foodstuffs like pulses.
Plan is appealing for funding to help those affected by the floods- including supporting long-term programmes to reduce risks of repeating flooding and encourage sustainable food projects.
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