HAILSTORM STRIKES DEDZA

Renders Hundreds Destitute

Dedza, Malawi … Tuesday January 2, 2018 was just another day, a day like any other in central Malawi. However, it changed as heavy rains and strong winds came in from the east. The wind and rain alone were customary for this time of year, but this was different.

One victim reported to Wilson Tembo, “Even before the rain started a strong wind swept in carrying with it roofing sheets from hundreds of homes that were being demolished by the wind and debris being carried on the wind. It was terrible.”

According to the District Commissioner’s representative, Climiton Mphunda, a total of 420 homes were severely affected by the hailstorm.

This disaster in Dedza was not the only place suffering from the onset of the rainy season this year. According to Wilson Tembo, the in-country Director of Operations for the Malawi Project, “hundreds of people have lost their property in Rumphi in northern Malawi as well major rain and wind damage in the capital city of Lilongwe. This has all taken place in just two months.”

Tembo continues, “As the country depends on agriculture, the hailstorm has had a negative impact on agricultural production. Adding to this problem is an invasion of fall worms that are expected to contribute to a decrease in food production.”

In the hailstorm that struck Dedza two people lost their lives, 10 others were injured, and 420 households were listed as damaged.

“The Malawi Project was quick to respond,” according to Tembo. “A consignment of clothes and fortified rice was sent from the south to assist 200 of the affected housholds.”

Speaking during the food distribution Traditional Authority Kachere encouraged his subjects to work hard and plant more trees this rainy season to prevent future problems. The Chief further extended his gratitude to the Malawi Project for the timely assistance to his subjects. “I would wish to have it go on record that I am very happy, there are so many organizations around. But you have come a long way to assist these people. This is Christianity.”

Adding to this, the representative of the District Commissioner for Dedza, Clamiton Mphunda, said there are many people who lost their property, and need the continued partnership with the Malawi Project.

Cecelia Samuel is one of the beneficiaries of the food support from the food made possible by World Emergency Relief and the Malawi Project. She said, “Before the actual rains started, a strong wind blew in the area carrying with it roofing sheets of hundreds of houses demolishing other houses in the process. It was so terrible!”

“I am extremely happy that you have assisted us with the food and clothes. The clothes that were put on a line in the house were all blown off. We lost everything. I don’t have food to feed my grand children”. Said, Mr. Safanana from Domoya Village, when aid arrived.

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