As most of you are probably aware, there have been devastating floods in Malawi and other parts of South Saharan Africa. The flooding in Malawi happened in the area of our South Factory in Chikwawa. Sarah, our Country Director, and Mayamiko, her 6 month old daughter are fine. They are living in the city of Blantyre, which is a 45 minute drive from the factory. Their house is strong, although some leaks have appeared in the ceiling. They have been without hot water and have had very sporadic electricity for 12 days. The flooding has been terrible in the rural villages. The worst hit area was next to the Shire River. Many of the crops were washed away, livestock have been lost and houses constructed of mud or mud bricks as well as latrines have fallen in. One of our staff lost his house. People have died mainly from their mud huts falling on them.
We were fortunate that all of our team members and volunteers are safe but many of our beneficiaries who have received filters have lost their houses. People who have lost their homes are staying at the church near the factory. They have been using our cooking facilities at the factory and we have been supplying some food. Some of the filters in people’s homes have been buried or broken. We will replace those filters.
Below is a video clip of our team pulling a filter out of collapsed house.
Many people have had to construct makeshift shelters until they can rebuild their houses.
Most people who still have filters are sharing their filters with neighbours. There is a concern that there will be an outbreak of cholera, so the filters that are still working will be crucial.
Sarah has received donations from local Malawians to purchase supplies and purchased buckets with 5KGs of maize, mbala’s (little cast iron stoves), blankets, clothes, etc. She has distributed the supplies with the Government Environmental Disaster worker to a community that was devastated by the flooding. The day I spoke with her she was exhausted.
Many disaster relief organizations are mobilizing. Large camps have been set up. After the emergency response is complete, the greater need will be to help people rebuild their houses and re-plant their crops. They will have to wait 3 months for the maize to be harvested. There will be a food shortage before their crops can be harvested. Already there is a shortage of maize to purchase.
The neighbouring country of Mozambique was hit extremely hard by cyclone Idai and our thoughts and prayers are with those so terribly affected. A large camp has been set up in southern Malawi near the Mozambique border. We will continue to do what we can in the villages we are currently working with.
We will be able to help our beneficiaries by replacing some of the items they have lost, such as their filters, water containers, buckets, blankets, clothes, mosquito nets and emergency food.
If you would like to assist please click here and enter Heathy Lives International or Malawi Water Project. Please indicate disaster assistance in the “Add a Comment” section. Any funds you can provide will help families survive this terrible disaster.