Southern Africa: Floods - Jan 2015
Heavy seasonal rainfall starting in December 2014 has caused flooding in Southern Africa. As of 16 Jan 2015, 135,000 people had been affected in Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar and Zimbabwe. (OCHA, 16 Jan 2015)
The Southern Region of Malawi received 400% higher rains than usual (compared to the Long Term Mean) causing the Shire River to reach its highest level in 30 years. Heavy rains experienced in the first quarter of 2015 caused flooding in 15 of the 28 districts in Malawi, most of which are located in the southern part of the country. The President declared a state of disaster on 13 January 2015. (IFRC, 17 July 2015) On 21 Jan, a Preliminary Response Plan was presented to the Office of the Vice President, seeeking $81 million to address the immediate needs of up to 638,000 people affected by floods. In July 2015, a Revised Emergency Appeal issued for CHF 2,946,922 for 46,700 people and Appeal timeframe extended to December 2015. (IFRC, 22 Jul 2015) An outbreak of cholera was confirmed with the first cases crossing the border from Mozambique in February 2015. As of 23 June 2015 there had been 693 reported cases and 11 deaths.
The Council of Ministers declared an institutional red alert on 12 January 2015 after a period of heavy rainfall caused severe flooding across central and northern Mozambique. According to the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) 373,026 people were affected in Zambézia, Nampula, Niassa, Cabo Delgado and Manica provinces. 14,361 houses were partially damaged, while 21,780 were completely destroyed. Furthermore, the floods caused extensive damage to public buildings and infrastructure, loss of crops and livestock. The Mozambican Red Cross (CVM) concentrated its efforts to support 17,620 displaced people (3,524 households) in Zambézia and Nampula provinces. The targeted districts in Zambézia were Mopeia, Namacurra, Mocuba and Maganja da Costa, while in Nampula the districts were Mussoril and Meconta. Exacerbated by the heavy rainfall and flooding, a cholera outbreak, which started on 25 December 2014, quickly expanded to Tete, Sofala, Zambézia, Nampula and Niassa provinces. A total of 8,835 cases and 65 deaths were recorded. (IFRC, 21 Oct 2015.)
Zimbabwe experienced widespread flooding across the country, with the worst affected provinces including Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Midlands. According to preliminary assessments, approximately 6,000 people (1,200 households) have been affected, of which 2,500 people (500 households) are in urgent need of assistance. The flood-affected population has moved to higher ground, with some seeking refuge in schools. (IFRC, 13 Jan 2015)
In Madagascar, weeks of heavy rainfall had already caused high river levels and soil saturation when Tropical Storm Chedza crossed the island on 16 Jan. Continuing rainfall not only exacerbated the impact of Chedza, but also caused flood conditions over the north of the country. (OCHA, 21 Jan 2015) Following the breakdown of the Sisaony dam, the flooding in the greater Antananarivo worsened, and on 27 February 2015, a Red Alert (danger) was declared. On 23 March 2015, an operations update was issued to allow for the expansion of the activities to support an additional 2,000 households (10,000 people) which were affected by the floods, and who were living in camps in the city of Antananarivo. A total of 5,000 households (25,000 people) have been targeted for assistance by the CRM. (IFRC, 01 Jan 2016)
This report assesses the potential for strengthening ‘shock-sensitive’ social protection in Malawi. Bringing together recent experiences and knowledge, it analyses the ways in which existing social protection system components can more effectively prepare for and address the impacts of events that result in humanitarian emergency response. It provides clear options and recommendations for a more shock-sensitive social protection approach in Malawi.
The report focuses on the following social protection system components:
Ruth Haug and Bjørn K.G. Wold
DEVELOPMENT PROCESS AND BACKGROUND CONTEXT
In just the last 36 years, Malawi has experienced eight major droughts, affecting more than 24 million people1. The impact, frequency, and spread of drought in Malawi have intensified in the past four decades and are likely to worsen with climate change, compounded by other factors, such as population growth and environmental degradation.
Edited by: Siri Eriksen, Lars Otto Naess, Ruth Haug, Aditi Bhonagiri and Lutgart Lenaerts
Volume 48 Issue 4
Humanitarian crises appear dramatic, overwhelming and sudden, with aid required immediately to save lives. Whereas climate change is about changing hazard patterns and crises are in reality rarely unexpected, with academic researchers and humanitarian and development organisations warning about possible risks for months before they take place.
The floods that hit Malawi in 2015 caused damage to the economy
Village communities helped restore earth roads and bridges that were washed away
A Public Works Program provided villagers the options of cash or farm inputs in return for work
Disasters in recent years, such as drought and floods, have driven poor Mozambican families deeper into destitution, and more women into prostitution
By Ray Mwareya
BEIRA, Mozambique, Sept 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Bemusa was only eight when her parents died of tuberculosis and she was left in the care of an "aunt", who made ends meet by working as a prostitute in Mozambique's second city, Beira.
Read the full article on the Thomson Reuters Foundation
The El Niño 2015-16 in the Context of Past El Niños
The 2015/16 El Niño Event
An El Niño event was officially declared in March 2015, gaining in intensity until it reached its peak in December 2015. The event came to an end in May 2016, becoming one the strongest on record, together with the El Niños of 1982-83 and 1997-98.
Following the Malawi – Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) recommendations to roll out the 2016/17 lean season response in July, of the 6.5 million food insecure population, WFP plans to assist 5.8 million people with a mix of food and cash.The remaining 650,000 food insecure people will be provided cash assistance by a consortium of NGOs.
LILONGWE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun a new round of life-saving relief operations in Malawi where as many as 6.5 million people – nearly 40 percent of the population – may require emergency assistance in coming months. This is set to become the largest ever emergency food relief operation in the country’s history.
The 2015 International Annual Report describes how SOS Children’s Villages around the world supported children and strengthened families and communities in 2015 through community-integrated responses in care, education, health and emergency services.
The 573 SOS Children’s Villages around the world in 2015 are described as ‘care and protection hubs’ for their local communities, as they provided a range of locally-tailored services to support vulnerable children.
The African Development Bank and the Government of the Republic of Malawi signed a grant agreement for a humanitarian emergency assistance to mitigate the effects of the 2015 floods and El Niño in 2016. The signing ceremony was hosted by Kapil Kapoor, AfDB Acting Vice-President, Sector Operations, during the institution’s Annual Meetings held in Lusaka, Zambia.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
28 MILLION PEOPLE FORCIBLY DISPLACED BY CONFLICT AND DISASTERS IN 2015 AND MILLIONS MORE STILL INVISIBLE: IDMC NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS GLOBAL CRISIS OF INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT
Conflict, violence and disasters internally displaced 27.8 million people in 2015, subjecting a record number of men, women and children to the trauma and upheaval of being forcibly displaced within their own country.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
The current rainfall season has been the driest in the last 35 years across several parts of the Southern Africa Region. Two consecutive below-average rainy seasons have significantly impacted crop and livestock production, cereal prices, water availability, and livelihoods.
Food and nutrition security in the region also remains extremely fragile, with the situation expected to worsen. Overall, 28 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity.
My Fellow Malawians,
As you are aware, the 2015/2016 season has been greatly affected by strong El Nino conditions, resulting in erratic rains across most parts of the country.
Reports from the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services indicate that cumulative rainfall performance from October, 2015 to end March, 2016 has been below average in most parts of the Southern and Central Regions of the country. Average to above average rainfall amounts were only received in the Northern Region of the country.