WHILE Mozambique dealt with its worst flooding in a decade over the past two weeks, Malawi was also affected with more than 100 households displaced and damage to schools affecting up to 26,000 pupils, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

Unicef said on Friday that it was working with nongovernmental organisations and the Malawian government to quicken the pace of emergency assistance in that country, as more than 50,000 people were in need of aid after being affected by the flooding in various ways.

Kusali Kubwalo, a Unicef communications officer in Malawi, said on Monday that the flooding had caused even more damage since the Unicef statement was released on Friday.

"Further flooding was reported on after the release in Nsanje district (in southern Malawi) caused by back flowing of the Shire River from the Zambezi, with initial reports indicating an additional 157 households displaced," Ms Kubwalo said. "An assessment is under way to determine the impact of this development."

She said no other governments had yet provided emergency assistance to Malawi.

"Further assistance is required. Various UN agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the UN Population Fund and Unicef have submitted proposals to the Malawi Humanitarian Fund to provide support in the sectors of agriculture, water and sanitation, education and reproductive health."

Ms Kubwalo said food was needed, as well as emergency shelter, medical supplies and household goods such as blankets, buckets and pots. "These remain the top priorities for affected families," she said.

The UN has said the flooding in Mozambique over the past two weeks has been the most severe in more than 10 years, with at least 68 people killed and more than 100,000 affected.

Last week, International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the South African government was providing assistance to Mozambique.

"The rescue operation has moved to a humanitarian assistance phase whereby civil society, represented by the Gift of the Givers Foundation, in partnership with the South African National Defence Force, is expected to deliver 135 tons of emergency aid this week," Ms Nkoana-Mashabane said.

The defence force deployed two helicopters and two aeroplanes two weeks ago following a request from Mozambican President Armando Guebuza.

With Sapa