2019 Flood Response Appeal

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Malawi Government Printing Press
In early March, a severe weather system formed off the eastern coast of Mozambique and hit Malawi with heavy rain accompanied by strong winds in before moving back to the Mozambique channel where it intensified into Cyclone Idai and then hit Malawi a second time. The heavy and persistent rain led to severe flooding across some districts in southern Malawi. More than 868,900 people have been affected, including more than 86,980 displaced, with 60 deaths and 672 injuries recorded according to the Government. In total, fifteen districts and 2 cities have been impacted. While Machinga and Zomba districts have been most affected, accounting for more than 29,000 affected households per district, Nsanje (18,000 households), Chikwawa (16,000 households) and Phalombe (22,848 households) recorded the highest number of displaced persons. Nsanje district recorded 17,400 IDPs (3,867 households); Phalombe recorded 5,526 IDPs (1,228 households). In 2015, Malawi was also affected by floods with close to 230,000 people were in IDP centres with an estimated 26,000 IDPs located outside centres/in hard to reach areas. The same districts, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe and Zomba were the most affected. With agriculture being the main source of livelihood for the rural population in the country, the heavy rains and floods have impacted agricultural activities, as fields are inundated and recently planted crops have been destroyed. Ongoing post-flood assessments indicate the impact on people’s livelihoods. However, as agricultural production accounts for nearly one-third of Malawi’s GDP and about 80% of its export revenue, it is likely that the potential loss of harvest will impact their livelihoods in the medium and long-term. Women and children account over 60% of the displaced population and are likely to be more affected by the impact of the floods. About 70% of women in the affected districts are small scale farmers with the principal source of livelihood being agricultural production. It is therefore likely that the potential loss of harvest will have a greater impact on women and children. In Nsanje, the heavy rains and floods occurred in areas already experiencing a severe food insecurity situation. Approximately 37% of the population in the Extension Planning Area do not have food from their own production, and what existing crops have planted have been damaged or swept away by the flood. The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee conducted an assessment in July 2018 which projected that 3,306,405 people (22% of the population) falling in IPC Phase 3 or worse, and would require humanitarian assistance for 2 to 6 months during the 2018/2019 consumption year.