Disasters in Malawi are no longer unforeseen. The country is experiencing serious effects of climate change. There are floods or dry spell or both almost yearly. The 2015 floods were the most devastating in terms of geographical coverage, severity of damage and extent of loss. While 15 districts were directly affected, the whole country suffered from the effects. Water and electricity were interrupted. Damages on roads and bridges disrupted business.
An estimated 1,101,364 people were affected, 230,000 displaced, 106 killed and 172 reported missing. Economic losses were experienced at different levels: damage in infrastructure, crops and livestock; reduced production due to water and electricity shortage, disruption of economic system in communities where people were displaced; fiscal transfer to disaster response and crowding out of other functions as for weeks manpower concentrated more on disaster response than any other activities.
Government and development partners applied a three-pronged approach: rescue and evacuation; relief response; and recovery and reconstruction. Response was managed through 9 clusters that were activated and covered all areas of immediate human needs. I am grateful to development partners, government departments, private sector and individuals that provided support in various forms during the response phase.
The purpose for requesting a comprehensive Post Disaster Needs Assessment was twofold; first to quantify the damage and loss and second to estimate cost of recovery and reconstruction. The assessment has shown that total damage and loss is US$335 million while total cost of recovery and reconstruction is US$494 million.