“People here are desperate, they have lost everything they have and it is very, very difficult for them to survive,” Concern’s Country Director in Malawi, Yousaf Jogezai said today. “They have had just so many shocks, with last year’s drought, flooding last January and now this latest flood, they have lost everything. In many cases their houses have been washed away or they have collapsed, their livestock is gone and this year’s harvest had been destroyed.”
Over 800,000 people have been affected by the flooding in the wake of Cyclone Idai in Malawi, with 87,000 displaced, 59 dead and 672 injured.
The districts of Nsanje and Phalombe in southern Malawi (where Concern has been working for a number of years) are among the worst areas affected by flooding. Parts of eastern Nsanje are still cut off by floods and are only accessible by boat or helicopter.
“We immediately need relief support and shortly after that we will need agricultural support to help people get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” Mr Jogezai said.
Concern’s staff on the ground are facing a race against the clock. The immediate issue is the risk of water-borne disease such as Cholera and diarrhoea in the 173 temporary camps which are accommodating people displaced by flooding, Mr Jogezai explained. “Many people are sheltering in local schools and churches, which do not have sufficient toilets or bathing facilities for the numbers staying there,” he said. “This is a very dangerous situation. We need to move quickly to help.”