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  • Christine Chumbler
    Apr 3, 2000
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      Flood Leaves 70,000 Malawians Homeless

      LUSAKA (April 2) XINHUA - At least 70,000 people have been left homeless
      in Malawi by heavy torrential rains in the past three weeks, Malawi's
      Department of Disaster Preparedness, Relief and Rehabilitation, said Sunday in
      Blantyre.

      The deluge has caused many rivers to burst banks, thereby flooding hundreds of
      hectares of crops, most of which like the staple food maize have already
      matured, according to the department.

      Thousands of mainly mud and grass thatched houses have crumbled, it said.
      Bridges, especially an important one that links the rice and tobacco growing
      central lakeshore districts of Nkhotakota and Salima, have been washed away.

      A clinic in the southern Nsanje district and a primary school that was acting as a
      refugee camp in the southern district of Chikwawa, were also flooded and
      medical drugs and school books in the two premises were destroyed
      respectively.

      At least five rivers in districts bordering Mozambique burst their banks, while
      four in the north of the country are also under water.

      The department noted that in the northern border district of Karonga, which
      hosts the Songwe, at least 10,000 homes were flooded. In the central lakeshore
      district of Nkhotakota, the count was pegged at 2,000 household farms which
      were washed away, with 150 houses destroyed.

      The department said the food situation of the displaced is under threat as most of
      them depended on their flooded maize plots.