Over 638,000 people affected, 79 dead and 1.5 million people in need of food assistance
LILONGWE, Malawi- January, 28, 2015– Malawi is experiencing one of the worst floods in 20 years that has destroyed people’s homes, crops and livelihoods. Rose of Sharon Foundation is distributing food to 3,279 flood-affected households in Ntcheu District and will expand distribution of relief supplies in four districts before the end of the week.
In Nsanje, one of the worst affected districts, Rose of Sharon Foundation will provide food, relief supplies and hygiene kits to about 900 households. Rose of Sharon Foundation also plans to provide additional food items to 1,000 households in Nsanje beginning next week.
“I will live to remember this experience for the rest of my life. We have experienced floods here, but not of this magnitude. We lost all valuable items that were in the house. We didn’t have time to collect them. We lost food, clothes, kitchen utensils and everything,” shared Grace Lawrence, a 20-year-old pregnant woman from the Nsanje district.
According to the Malawi Government’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) an estimated 638,000 people have been affected by the floods with 174,000 people displaced in the three most affected districts – Nsanje, Chikwawa and Phalombe in the southern region of Malawi.
The latest situation report from DoDMA also indicates that 79 people have died, 153 people are still missing and 63,531 hectares of land has been flooded.
Rose of Sharon Foundation Malawi’s Country Director Michael Rewald said Rose of Sharon Foundation is committed to be part of the flood response that has left many people in Malawi in need of basic necessities.
“Rose of Sharon Foundation Malawi is ready to support the efforts of the Malawi Government, the international community and those affected by this devastating disaster, especially, women and girls who, in disasters of this magnitude, are the worst affected,” said Rewald.
According to a rapid assessment, the relocation of flood-affected people to camps renders women vulnerable to sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation. Those who haven’t been relocated and who have lost their housing are forced to carry out their toilet and bathing activities in public places which increases the risk of sexual violence.
Rewald added: “While addressing the immediate needs of the flood affected families is the immediate priority, Rose of Sharon Foundation Malawi is planning a longer-term response to help affected families recover from the devastating effects of the flood disaster.