The Malawi Red Cross Society has completed the implementation of the response phase in June 2019, and this has reached in total 14,251 households in five target districts. The National Society has begun the implementation of recovery interventions, which was preceded by a baseline assessment conducted in mid-August 2019. The assessment informed the design of the recovery programme in terms of target areas identification, engagement with the government to ensure alignment with national guidelines and establishing coordination and identifying synergies with external partners. The recovery phase is focusing on Shelter; Livelihoods and Basic needs; WASH and Health. During the recovery phase IFRC support will go towards livelihoods interventions, while the Consortium of Partners National Societies (Danish, Belgian, Finnish, Icelandic, Netherlands, and Swiss Red Cross Societies) is supporting the rest of the sectors including livelihoods and basic needs. The Emergency Plan of Action is being revised to reflect among others, IFRC detailed support towards livelihoods and basic needs during the recovery phase.
Description of the disaster
Towards the end of the rainy season, Malawi experienced one of the worst strong winds, heavy rains and floods induced by tropical cyclone that formed in the Mozambican channel. Before the beginning of the rainy season, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) released the seasonal forecast indicating that the southern region would receive normal to below normal rainfall amounts whilst the Central and Northern Regions forecasts indicated normal to above normal rainfall. Early March 2019, the country received heavy rains (highest recording of 255.5mm at Mpemba Met Station) accompanied by strong winds in the Southern Region Districts which resulted into flooding in 15 out of the 28 districts and 2 cities of the country. The heavy rains were the result of a severe weather system (Tropical Depression 11) that formed offshore central Mozambique and hit Malawi before looping and tracking back and converting into Intense Tropical Cyclone Idai (TC Idai). Around 12:00 UTC on 11 March, TC Idai reached its initial peak intensity with estimated maximum winds of 195km/h (120mph), primarily affecting Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Accordingly, the President of the Republic of Malawi, declared a state of disaster in all flood affected geographical areas and appealed for international assistance on the 8th March 2019. Floods affected 15 districts and 2 cities, namely Balaka, Blantyre, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Machinga, Mulanje, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje, Phalombe, Thyolo, Zomba, Zomba City and Blantyre City in the Southern region and Dedza as well as Ntcheu in the Central region.
The Government led interagency assessment reported that 975,588 people was affected; 99,728 people displaced, 731,879 people were in immediate need and 60 people lost their lives. The floods damaged 295,074 houses including household property and affected water supply systems, hydrological monitoring stations, farms and other community infrastructure such as bridges, roads, schools and health centres. furthermore, floods washed away standing crops in the field and animals were injured and lost.