Malawian leader appeals for humanitarian assistance following heavy flooding

January 15, 2015 7:01 am 

LUSAKA, Jan. 15 — Malawian President Peter Mutharika has appealed for humanitarian assistance following heavy flooding that affected the African nation, local media reported on Wednesday.

The Malawian leader, who has declared a third of the African nation a disaster zone, said people are in need of assistance following the incessant rainfall that has continued to wreak havoc across the southern African nation.

"I appeal for humanitarian assistance, from the international donor community, the relevant United Nations agencies, the non-governmental organizations, the local private sector as well as fellow citizens of goodwill, so that, together, we can contribute in alleviating suffering on the part of people affected by the floods," he was quoted as saying by the Nyasa Times.

"Tents and food are urgently required. Rescue operations are also a priority. Donations in cash or kind should be sent to the Secretary and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs," he added.

According to the Malawian leader, 48 people have been killed so far and around 23,000 forced from their homes by heavy flooding while Malawi's Department of Disaster Management Affairs said the number of those who had been displaced had risen to some 45,000 people or 7,500 households, in 14 districts.

While revealing that the Malawi Defense Force has already been asked to undertake rescue operations using boats, Mutharika said rescue efforts have been hampered by funding shortfall.

The worst affected areas which have been declared disaster zones are Nsanje, Chiwakwa, Phalombe, Zomba Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Mulanje, Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Salima, Rumphi, and Karonga.

A Xinhua correspondent in Lilongwe, the Malawian capital, said the situation was still bad as the rains have continued pouring.

"It is indeed a disaster here. Right now, I am failing to go out because of the heavy rains. It has been raining since Christmas," Kondwani Magondo said in a telephone interview. (PNA/Xinhua)

LGI/EDS

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