Malawi - Floods Situation Report No. 4

Ref: DHAGVA - 97/0075


1. DHA's UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team completed a field assessment in the floods- affected Chikwawa and Nsanje Districts in the Lower Shire Valley, focusing particularly on the areas situated close to the Shire River. It was carried out in close cooperation with UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, the European Union, and the Malawi national and district authorities.

2. Having completed the rapid assessment, the UNDAC team is scheduled to depart for Geneva this evening.


3. While the original government appeal estimated 400,000 persons (80,000 families) affected without distinguishing between losses of food stores, crop, and homes, the UNDAC team's assessment concentrated on identifying those who require immediate assistance, particularly food. The registration exercise started by the District Commissioners in Chikwawa and Nsanje have so far registered 120,000 persons (24,000 families), again including all types of losses.

4. Assessment was carried out through helicopter overflights over the affected areas, with touch downs at strategic points. The information gathered was broken down into Agricultural Expansion Planning Areas (EPAs), and, based on the already-established population distribution data, a percentage of those visibly suffering food store loss was estimated for each EPA.

5. Chikwawa District -- In Dolo EPA (population 47, 461), 7,000 persons are estimated to be in need of food assistance, and the distribution of plastic sheets and poles is needed for the victims in Masanduku. Mitole EPA (population 75,722) has suffered limited damage at the confluence of the Likabula and Shire Rivers, where about 4, 000 are in need of food and non-food assistance. Damage in Mikalango and Liwunzu EPAs is mainly crop loss, and, therefore, neither bulk feeding nor distribution of non- food items are recommended at this point.

6. Nsanje District -- In Nsanje EPA (population 57, 551), 14,500 persons are in need of food assistance, and the distribution of plastic sheets/poles is recommended to the displaced in Nsanje Boma. In Nyatchalinda EPA (population 94,921), the provision of food and plastic sheets/poles is also needed for 32,000 persons originally from Nyachikadza. Furthermore, food assistance is needed for estimated 36,000 persons in Makhanga EPA (population 72,201) which has been badly affected by the confluence of the Shire and Ruo Rivers, as well as for about 9,000 in Magoti EPA (population 44,379) where the surrounding area of Bangula has been damaged by the flooding at the confluence of the Shire and Ruo Rivers. Damage in Mpatsa EPA is mainly crop loss.


7. The UNDAC team's assessment identified 102,500 persons (i.e., 20,500 families) in Chikwawa and Nsanje as the target population for food and, in some areas, shelter (plastic sheeting and poles) assistance. In Chikwawa District, the priority area for the first two weeks is Masanduku in Dolo EPA. In Nsanje District, also requiring priority assistance are Nsanje Boma in Nsanje EPA and the displaced from Nyachikadza in Nyatchalinda EPA.

8. Of paramount importance is the need to maintain access to affected areas, on which the delivery of assistance will depend. This will involve temporary repairing of damaged roads and bridges leading to distribution points.

9. Overall requirements, including further non-food needs (e.g., shelter, blankets, and household utensils), are to be determined/adjusted based on independent verification and analysis by selected NGOs of the target groups being identified through the registration exercise by the District Commissioners. As the forthcoming verification/analysis exercise is expected to take 10 days, no further shipment of these items from abroad is recommended at this stage.


10. Immediate food assistance requirements are met by WFP from its existing in-country stocks, in cooperation with the EU and other partners.

11. Response to requirements in the area of health, water, and sanitation is coordinated by UNICEF, which has already ordered vaccines and medicines valued at USD 150, 000.

12. UNDP has made USD 200,000 available to cover immediate and mid-term needs.


13. The District Commissioner in Nsanje has registered over 50,000 Mozambican flood victims mainly from the Province of Zambesia. The verification exercise will include Mozambicans, and those identified will have their immediate needs met by the same mechanisms introduced for the Malawian victims.

14. The Governments of Malawi and Mozambique are cooperating to facilitate the rapid return of the Mozambican flood victims to their homes.


15. Further to the contributions listed in the situation report no. 2, USD 20,000 contributed from the Nippon Foundation, through DHA, has been reported.

16. DHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions to be used during the immediate relief phase. Funds are spent in coordination with relevant organizations of the UN system, and DHA provides donor Governments with written confirmation on utilizations of the funds contributed.

17. Donors wishing to channel their contributions through DHA may transfer the funds to DHA account no. CO. 590.160.1 at Swiss Bank Corporation, Case Postale 2770, CH- 1211 Geneva 2, with reference: Malawi - Floods.

18. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform DHA Geneva, as indicated below, of bilateral relief missions/ pledges/ contributions and their corresponding values by item.

Telephone number: +41-22-917-1234
In case of emergency only: +41-22-917-2010

Desk Officer: Ms. Kayo Gotoh, direct tel: +41-22-917-1258

Press to contact: Ms. M. Moulin-Acevedo, direct tel: +41-22-917-2856

Telex: 41 42 42 dha ch
Fax: +41-22-917-0023

DPR 310 MLW 97(1)