Heavy rains result in floods in Malawi, damaging homes and crops, UN reports

Heavy rains result in floods in Malawi, damaging homes and crops, UN reports

Heavy rains in Malawi have resulted in flooding in many parts of the country, damaging homes, destroying crops and disrupting transportation, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.

The great majority of those affected are extremely poor women who are predominantly engaged in crop production, OCHA said, noting that such crops as maize, tobacco and rice that have been wiped out are the main source of livelihood for most Malawians.

The Government, along with several UN relief agencies, have been providing assistance and assessing the damage in each of the districts to determine the number of households affected by the floods.

The rains, which began in late December, have occurred during a time when Malawi is experiencing a food crisis. Under the UN's emergency appeal for southern Africa, the country needs $144 million in aid for the period from July 2002 to June 2003.