Memories of how a population of over 200, 000 people from different parts of the country suffered due to the worst ever heavy downpour the country experienced from January 13-15, 2015 are still hitting our mind.
Many would not forget how poor but lucky survivors could stay up in trees for three days waiting for military helicopters to come to their survival.
Houses both fashioned and hovels destroyed to rubble leaving thousands of people destitute while some unlucky friends and relatives went missing.
I can recall that while attending school at Malawi Institute of Journalism – MIJ in 2015, myself and some colleagues had a time to visit one flood affected area at Chilobwe Township just outside Blantyre city.
It was tear-jerking how livestock and huge sums of money locked in a property such as houses were wiped way.
It was catastrophic; families had no option but to stay in makeshifts where levels of malnutrition and other water and airborne diseases were common.
I even read reports that some pregnant mothers would deliver in floods, how unsafe that was.
While in the makeshifts people undoubtedly contacted HIV, but anyway that is a story for another day.
Floods postmortem results by government and the Department of Disaster Management –DoDMA had ordered no family to return to those flood affected areas which include Chibanja and Masada Township in Mzuzu, Kauma, Area 47 along Lingadzi in Lilongwe and some parts in the lower shire valley of Malawi.
Only months after the devastating floods some if not all people moved from the temporally makeshifts back to what they call “our ancestral land” to make a living again. How easily people could forget.
DoDMA’s effort to have people from such places relocated to uplands proved futile as people showed crude adamancy.
The Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima who is also the Minister of Disaster Management and preparedness has time and again told Malawians to rethink on the type of houses they build and places they settle to avoid the reoccurrence of the 2015 floods whose effects are still hitting the country until present but all to nothing.
Earlier this year, the department of Meteorological Services has been warning Malawians that the country will receive normal to above rainfall. The weather shocks were enough to move people form disaster risk areas.
Sadly, before the rains peak over, 70 houses in Rumphi district have already been affected due to heavy rains on December 16, 2017.
The flash floods have not spared in Lilongwe where six people died while was property wasted.
Excuse my intelligence but I think this is a message enough to compel those adamant people in their so called ancestral land to relocate before we see more than this. It’s always sad to be losing people and property in such scenarios.
In any case we regret the loss of our loved ones and the damaged property in the two districts and nonetheless, it is never too late to make a decision of relocating from places that are life risking.
Yes we know some people think they have built their paradise where they are but don’t be too proud as not to move because if truth be told that paradise might turn into hell.