Communities in Nsanje have asked the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) to dredge some of the big rivers in the district to increase their depth.
Speaking on Monday when Nsanje South West legislator Eurita Ntiza Valeta (Malawi Congress Party) donated relief items to flood survivors, Senior Chief Malemia said the exercise will curb potential floods in the district.
He said: “When big rivers such as Shire and Ruo are full of water, they burst their banks and floods follow.
“This year, Gandare River burst its bank and flooded many villages.”
In response, Dodma risk reduction director Dyce Nkhoma said government’s priority is to protect its citizens, as such, dredging rivers which pose a threat of flooding was one of the priorities.
He said: “Our plan is to protect people, first by creating safe places, including building evacuation centres before embarking on response.
“I would like to ask our partners to help us dredge Ruo River to divert it to its original course because the exercise requires $15 million (K1.5 billion).”
Mambundungu Village Civil Protection Committee Francis Zuze said about 104 households were seeking shelter at a mosque.
Zuze said the number was expected to increase.
Nsanje District Council relief and rehabilitation officer Blessings Kantema said they have identified a place to erect 20 tents to accommodate the survivors.
Ntiza Valeta donated maize flour, salt, soya pieces and soap to the flood survivors.