Cyclone Idai in southern Malawi

Cyclone Idai in southern Malawi

Cyclone Idai

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

We need to raise £10,000 to provide food, shelter and medicines to the families that we work with in these regions.

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.

The initial emergency response is being led by the Disasters Emergency Committee and their member charities but there is an important role that Open Arms will play in providing extended and specific support to the vulnerable families that we work with in some of the remote locations that have been struck. 

Last week Mrs Phiri and Kondwandi travelled to Chikwawa and Nsanje to make an assessment of eight families living where flood damage is most severe. We have so far reached six of the eight families; two are still inaccessible as flood water continues to make roads and farmland impassable. 

Our assessment in Chikwawa and Nsanje

Our initial assessment has revealed communities that are suffering serious hardship. Stored food supplies  have been destroyed causing immediate food shortages and looking to the next 12 months, the very promising harvest has been ruined by persisting flood water. Houses have collapsed or sustained damage to the thatched rooves only capable of withstanding short term rain.  And with little clean water available, there is a high risk of diseases such as cholera.

Flood Damaged House

Mrs Phiri initial assessment

Mrs Phiri assesses damage after Cyclone Idai

Open Arms will be making a further assessment of building damage. We plan to purchase bricks, cement, timber, nails and galvanized roof-sheets to allow families to rebuild and repair their houses and convert roof structures away from local thatch. We will also purchase and distribute a large quantity of maize and fortified soya flour.  Our staff will be monitoring health and providing initial help and referrals.

Once this assistance is underway in Chikwawa and Nsanje, we plan to visit families in other districts. Although generally not as badly affected, there will be families and some staff living in low lying areas that have felt the impact of these floods too.

How you can help today

To provide the additional and ongoing support needed we need to raise £10,000.  

This will support the eight families living in the districts most affected by 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.  We will use any additional funds to support other affected areas and any of our own staff who have had damage to their homes.

Click here to make a donation.

Takondwa and Talandira

Takondwa and Talandira will be three years old in June.  The twins moved back to their home village of Ngabu, Chikwawa last year and were being monitored closely by Open Arms.  Their guardian has very little money to support them.  

When Mrs Phiri visited them following the floods, their home and food supply had been badly affected.  She reported that they will need additional support and monitoring to avoid malnutrition and other preventable diseases as well as longer term support from Open Arms to repair their home and get back on their feet.

Takondwa Talandira In Chikwawa

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