Cyclone Idai in southern Malawi

Cyclone Idai in southern Malawi

Cyclone Idai

Tropical Cyclone Idai hit southern Malawi earlier this year, with the districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje being hit the hardest.  

We started our fundraising effort to raise £10,000 to provide food and shelter to the families that have been affected on our outreach programme.  With your help we have raised over £18,000 allowing us to extend our support further!

Click here to make a donation.

A state of emergency

Strong winds and widespread flooding have destroyed infrastructure, wiped away crops, caused loss of life and affected an estimated 2.6 million people in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.  The aftermath of these floods will be felt through 2019 and well into 2020.

Our response 

Our initial assessment was conducted by Kondwani and Mrs Phiri.  You can see Mrs Phiri's report below.  She reported that communities are suffering serious hardship. Stored food supplies  have been destroyed, many houses are not habitable and infection is a serious concern.

Emergency food supplies and immediate advice

We started by visiting each of our families in the affected areas to give advise and support where needed.  We brought ten tonnes of maize, which is being distributed along with likuni phala as part of our outreach programme and in coordination with other food distributions.

A new house for Kefasi

Building work started on Monday 29th April with the rebuild of a house for Mary Makase. She is the Grandmother (and now Guardian) to Kefasi Clement, a bright young boy who spent his first couple of years at Open Arms.  He was returned to his extended family last year.

The ground was cleared, material purchased from the local store and building work started by local builders.  Kefasi's family now have a stronger, more secure house and have received maize and likuni phala to help prevent malnutrition.

Chikwawa Project 2019 Kefasi

Support for Atupele

Atupele stayed at our Mangochi infant home when she was born.  She is now 11 years old and in year 4 at school. Her elder sister, Hilda, is a peasant farmer and also her carer.  Hilda works to support her own two year old child from a dysfunctional marriage and Atupele.  They live in Manjawira village, which is a distance of 74 km (to and from from the Infant Home).

Their house had a grass thatched roof and was built with un-burnt bricks and following the cyclone, is in a very bad state due to the heavy rains.  Part of the house collapsed during the rains, and the remaining walls are posing an immediate threat to their lives.

Building work is now in progress and the girls will have a new house by the end of August giving them security and our outreach support will protect them from further poverty.


A new home for Chisomo

Chisomo is about to turn three years old.  After a stay at our Blanytre home when she was first born, she returned to live with her grandmother recently.  They are 170 km from Blantyre, in Nsanje.  Sadly her house was completely destroyed by Cyclone Idai.  On our outreach visit, we found her living in a shelter provided by the World Food Programme, everything they owned had been destroyed.

Flood Damaged House

Due to the remote location of her village it was difficult to transport materials and supplies for the build.  It took Kondwani three hours to travel to her home.  It was wonderful to hear that her house rebuild was completed in six days though.  She is now living safely back at home.  The family have also been given maize as their garden and crops were completely washed away.  We will continue to monitor Chisomo and keep in touch with her grandmother to make sure they get back on their feet.

Nsanje House 2

A look behind the scenes of our work...

Mrs Phiri initial assessment

Mrs Phiri assesses damage after Cyclone Idai

How you can help today

Our initial response has been to the eight families on our outreach programme living in the districts most affected.  We are providing additional food (Maize and Likuni), building materials (iron sheets for roofing and plastic for flooring), transport and basic supplies such as water tablets and essential medicines.  Several houses have been identified for a full rebuild and many more for roof repairs.  Building work is being coordinated by Kondwani, our Blantyre driver.

We will use any additional funds to support other affected areas, our own staff and out outreach programme, which will provide essential help and advice over the next twelve months.

Click here to make a donation.

Donate today to support Open Arms families affected by Cyclone Idai

Donate now

Your donation will help children in Malawi grow up healthy with the love of a family


Designed to be kind. Proud to support Open Arms Malawi.