Malawi

Malawi: Floods Preliminary Appeal No: 09/2001

Format
Appeal
Source
Posted
Originally published


THIS PRELIMINARY APPEAL SEEKS CHF 2,471,910 IN CASH, KIND AND SERVICES TO ASSIST 20,000 BENEFICIARIES FOR 2 MONTHS
Summary

Malawi traditionally suffers from a degree of flooding in the Lower Shire, Central and Northern areas each year. Last year, the extent of flooding was aggravated by the effects of a cyclone. This year, the districts most affected are in the south of Malawi adjacent to the border with Mozambique and stretch from Chikwawa (south of Blantyre) to beyond Nsanje. At the onset of the rains in late January and early February, there was little serious flooding. However, around mid February, extensive flooding occurred in Mangochi, at the southern tip of Lake Malawi, affecting approximately 20,000 people. Over the last two weeks of February, floods have intensified and it is estimated that, at present, some 194,000 people have been affected. The Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) / Federation operation is to focus on relief support to 20,000 vulnerable disaster victims in the worst-affected Lower Shire area.

The Disaster

Floods have occurred in the Lower Shire area of Malawi covering the region extending from Chikwawa to Nsanje, following the course of the Lilongwe river, flowing towards the Zambezi and the Mozambique coast. Current reports indicate that the districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe and Blantyre are the worst affected and as of 16 February, 60,000 people from 117 villages are reported to have been made homeless and nine people have lost their lives in Nsanje and Chikwawa. Most of those whose homes have been destroyed have moved into churches and schools on higher ground. Reports of floods have also been received from Salima and Nkhotakota districts which lay along Lake Malawi in the central region, and from Karonga and Nkhata in the Northern Region.

The local authorities, working in coordination with the WFP, report that in the Chikwawa district some 67 villages have been affected, 10,000 houses have collapsed and around 4,000 farming families have lost their crops. A major problem is posed by the lack of access to the affected areas which, at present, can be reached only by helicopter. It is therefore difficult to determine numbers of disaster victims and statistics relating to damage incurred. The government Commissioner for Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation attempted to tour Chikwawa and Nsanje on 15 February 2001. However, due to heavy rain and poor visibility, it was not possible to fly over the flooded areas.

The Response so far

Government Action

The government of Malawi issued a statement on Sunday, 25 February, whereby 13 of the country’s 27 districts were declared disaster areas, and made an appeal for international assistance. The government has allocated USD 459,627 for emergency relief. Limited aid has been sent in to date and provision of assistance is hampered as a result of the inaccessibility of the affected region.

Red Cross/Red Crescent Action

The regional delegation for Southern Africa immediately provided CHF 12,000, to enable the MRCS to transport non food items from Lilongwe to Blantyre and to facilitate their distribution. The Secretariat has transferred CHF 100,000 from its disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) in order to ensure prompt response to the needs and a field assessment and coordination (FACT) team has been deployed. The Malawi Red Cross Society has sent three teams from the headquarters in Lilongwe to Nsanje, Chikwawa and Salima to provide relief items, to continue assessments of the situation and to mobilise volunteers. In Chikwawa, 2,286 blankets, 17,300 metres of plastic sheeting, 836 cooking pots, 189 jerry cans, 189 hoes and 4 cartons of water purification tablets are currently being distributed. In addition, the regional delegation in Harare has forwarded the following items to Blantyre from the regional stocks of non-food items:

  • Blankets: 1,000
  • Tarpaulins: 300
  • Tents: 201
  • Kitchen Sets: 350
  • Jerry Cans: 600
  • Chlorine Tablets: 25,000

Other Agencies’ Action

A WFP team has been assisting the local authorities in the Chikwawa and Sanje districts to conduct an assessment. The government of Norway has allocated USD 30,000 through OCHA and OCHA has released USD 30,000 for local purchase of relief items.

Coordination

Coordination of relief activities is taking place from the headquarters in Lilongwe and it is possible that a support team for the operation will work out of Blantyre. These arrangements will be finalised following results of the assessment to take place as of 1 March. Additional support will be provided by the regional delegation for Southern Africa in Harare. Furthermore, a task force has been set up in Harare to oversee operational requirements and implementation procedures.

The Intended Operation

Assessment of Needs

A Federation FACT team made up of five members has been deployed in Malawi An assessment mission will take place commencing on Thursday, 1 March by the FACT team and the Malawi Red Cross Society. An initial survey will be carried out by air, given the access problems, and as soon as feasible, an assessment will be conducted on the ground.

Immediate Needs

Major priorities include provision of relief items including shelter and kitchen sets. Safe drinking water, temporary latrines and basic health care are also essential. The table below shows the estimated immediate needs for 20,000 beneficiaries in affected communities in the Lower Shire area.

COMMODITY
VOLUME
QUANTITY
BLANKETS
3 PER FAMILY OF 5
12,000
TARPAULINS
1 PER FAMILY OF 5
4,000
PLASTIC JERRY CANS
2 PER FAMILY OF 5
8,000
KITCHEN SETS
1 PER FAMILY OF 5
4,000
TENTS FAMILY 12SQM
1 PER FAMILY OF 5
4,000
SOAP BARS
8MT
MATTRESSES
3 PER FAMILY OF 5
12,000
MOSQUITO NETS
3 PER FAMILY OF 5
12,000
STRETCHERS
1 PER 100 PEOPLE
200
SPADES
1 PER FAMILY OF 5
4,000
CLOTHES
1 BUNDLE PER FAM
4,000
HYGIENE PARCELS
1 PER FAMILY OF 5 PER MONTH
10,000
WATER MAKERS
SACHETS
80,000
WHO KITS
FOR 10,000 PEOPLE
2
SAN PLATS
25 PEOPLE PER LATRINE
800
ROLLS PLASTIC
LATRINE CONSTRUCTION
50
POLES
LATRINE CONSTRUCTION
8,000

Anticipated Later Needs

In view of the critical nature of the current situation and the lack of access to the affected areas, accurate information relating to longer-term needs is not yet available. Further details will be provided once the results of the FACT and MRCS assessments have been completed.

Red Cross Objectives

  • To provide immediate relief assistance (shelter, non-food items, potable water, basic health care and sanitation facilities) to 20,000 vulnerable beneficiaries in the Lower Shire area.
  • To ensure dissemination of health information amongst target beneficiaries.
  • To assess the mid to long term needs of the affected population.
  • To strengthen the National Society disaster response capacity in branches affected by the flooding.

National Society/Federation Plan of Action

Emergency Phase: 28 February - 30 April 2001

Initial support is planned to ensure provision of shelter, non-food items, potable water, health services and dissemination of health messages.

The need for further assistance will be reviewed once assessments have been completed and an overall understanding of the effects of the disaster is achieved.

Capacity of the National Society

There are 30 trained volunteers in each of the 13 divisions throughout the country. The present capacity in the 2 worst-affected divisions is of 60 volunteers who are currently mobilised. Technical support has been provided through the deployment to the field of disaster response, disaster preparedness, health and information specialists from the headquarters.

The MRCS has a small warehouse in Blantyre; as a result of current distributions, stocks have now been depleted. The National Society has two trucks and a small number of 4 x 4 land cruisers and pickups.

Present Capacity of the Federation Regional Delegation in Harare

The regional delegation for Southern Africa in Harare is staffed by 9 delegates. In order to support the floods operation in Malawi, experienced logistics/relief and finance and administration delegates will be sought. The regional delegation has a warehouse in Harare with a stock of relief goods (see above for quantities of relief goods shipped to Malawi).

Regional disaster response teams (RDRT) have been trained and are on standby to support the ongoing operation.

Evaluation

At the close of the operation, an evaluation will be carried out with the support of the regional delegation in collaboration with the MRCS.

Budget summary

See Annex 1 for details.

Conclusion

Heavy rains over the last two weeks have resulted in extensive flooding, particularly in the south of Malawi. The scale of the disaster in terms of numbers of displaced and damage to property and crops, is yet to be revealed since the region is inaccessible and surveys can be conducted by air only. Rains continue to swell the overflowing Lilongwe river which feeds into the Zambezi. Urgent relief assistance is required in order to come to the aid of 20,000 vulnerable flood victims in the Lower Shire area.

Didier J. Cherpitel
Secretary General

Jean Ayoub
Director
Disaster Management and Coordination Division

Annex 1

BUDGET SUMMARY (Preliminary)
APPEAL No. 09/2001
Malawi - floods
TYPE
VALUE IN CHF
RELIEF NEEDS
Tarpaulins: 4,000
65,000
Family tents: 4,000
766,000
Blankets: 12,000
60,000
Mattresses: 12,000
400,000
Mosquito nets: 12,000
99,000
Used clothes: 4,000 bundles
Water
10,000
Medical & first a id
10,000
Kitchen sets: 4,000
165,000
plastic jerry cans: 8,000
85,000
Utensils & tools
130,000
Other relief supplies
80,000
TOTAL RELIEF NEEDS
1,870,000
CAPITAL EQUIPMENT
Various equipment
90,000
PROGRAMME SUPPORT
Programme management
166,681
Technical support
49,896
Professional services
55,334
TRANSPORT STORAGE & VEHICLE COSTS
55,000
PERSONNEL
National staff and expatriate
80,000
ADMINISTRATIVE & GENERAL SERVICES
Travel & related expenses
15,000
Information expenses
15,000
Administrative & general expenses
75,000
TOTAL OPERATIONAL NEEDS
601,910
TOTAL APPEAL CASH, KIND, SERVICES
2,471,910
LESS AVAILABLE RESOURCES (-)
NET REQUEST
2,471,910