Forty-eight people are dead and an estimated 70,000 displaced in Malawi, after heavy rains caused severe flooding, Unicef said today.
There has been extensive damage to crops, livestock and homes, leaving thousands displaced. In the southern most district of Nsanje, many of the roads are impassable, with communities cut off and villagers, especially children, vulnerable to drowning. The President has declared a State of Disaster, stating that this is the worst flooding since 1964.
The Government has appealed to the international community for support, specifically in the provision of tents, food and non-food items (especially tarpaulins/plastic sheets, kitchen utensils and blankets) as well as support in conducting search and rescue operations.
Unicef, with government and other UN agencies, is assessing the situation and determining the response needs. Poor infrastructure and impassable roads has made the assessment challenging but critical information is being garnered.
Pre-positioned supplies including tents, buckets, chlorine for water purification and latrine slabs are being distributed by district teams. Unicef has also dispatched 1500 survival kits and 1560 blankets to the affected areas, from its central warehouse. Unicef plans to scale up the response in coming days.
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