Persistent rains, which have gone into the fourth week in Mzuzu, have affected 250 households rendering 1 500 individuals destitute in various locations.
A preliminary assessment done by the Mzuzu City Council indicates that households in Chiputula, Chibanja and Zolozolo East and West were the most affected.
The assessment indicates that the loss of property is estimated at K24 million.
A visit by The Nation on Monday to the affected households revealed that these locations are in low areas where the watertable is close to the surface.
According to the interviewed affected residents, rainwater could not infiltrate into the ground, thereby stagnating on the surface or spilling into their homes.
Most of the houses affected are those with unbaked bricks or those constructed using soil in place of cement.
Mzuzu City Council acting chief executive officer Lilian Chirwa said the areas are squatters, which the city plans to upgrade by improving drainage systems.
One of the affected individuals said she is destitute after the destruction.
“Our house had no cracks. But we were surprised to see water coming through our floor from beneath. In no time, two walls collapsed,” said Sinya Mkandawire from Zolozolo.
Apart from losing furniture and other necessities, others have completely lost their houses. Chimwemwe Njikho and her three children are being accommodated by their neighbour after their house collapsed on Sunday night.
“The collapsed house is my only home. I don’t have a job, now, I don’t know how I will find money to renovate this house or to find money for rent,” said a worried Njikho.