Chikwawa district, in Southern Malawi was one of the hardest hit by the March 2019 floods. The area consists of low-lying plains, making it vulnerable to flooding every rainy season. Jacqueline Devison, 21, is no stranger to this.
It had been raining nonstop for three days and water was rising slowly. First it filled out the yard, then covered the verandah area before seeping into the mud and stick house belonging to Ethel Mwaonga. “I woke up to the sound of people screaming and scrambling to get into boats,” Ethel recalls. “I took my baby and a few clothes and ran into a boat.”
Beatrice Harold and her newborn daughter have been living in a classroom at their local primary school ever since flood waters swept through southern Malawi three weeks ago
It was the middle of the night on 7 March when Annie decided to flee her home with her children, including baby Ndaziona, who had been born just two days before. It had been raining for four days, the nearby Shire river was rising and the family’s mud brick and straw house was becoming precarious.