LATE-SUMMER storms have caused torrential and widespread
flooding in southern Africa. Areas of Malawi, Mozambique, and
Zimbabwe are among the worst affected.
The President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika, has declared a state
of national emergency in a third of the country, and appealed for
international aid. At least 50 people in Malawi are thought to have
died in the flooding, and up to 100,000 have fled their homes.
The UN reported that 1000 people had to be evacuated by
helicopter and boats from the worst-hit areas.
In Mozambique, a road split in two after bridges collapsed as a
result of flooding, killing 25 people. Large areas of the country
have been left without electricity, and thousands of people are
without homes or shelter after days of storms and high winds.
The storms have also led neighbouring South Africa to close its
famous Kruger National Park, where helicopters have been used to
The floods have swept away livestock and destroyed thousands of
hectares of crops. One of Mozambique's main crops, the cashew nut,
has been badly hit, and 6000 trees are thought to have been
destroyed by the flooding.
The charity Us. (formerly USPG) is working in Malawi, and said
that churches were providing shelter for people who had lost their
homes. The charity is distributing aid; and food, cooking utensils,
and medical supplies are urgently needed.
The Bishop of the diocese of Upper Shire, Malawi , the Rt Revd
Brighton Malasa, said: "Weather experts predict the rains will
continue. We fear there will be more deaths and more loss of
"We estimate that over 20,000 to 30,000 people need support.
People have lost their homes, and food gardens have been washed
away. In short, people have lost everything."