Malawi: Floods - Situation Report No. 4 (as of 27th April 2019)

Situation Report
Originally published


This report is produced jointly by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) of Malawi and the United Nations Office of the Resident Coordinator in Malawi, in collaboration with humanitarian and development partners. It covers the period 7 – 27 April 2019.


• As of 27 April, more than 92,000 households have been reached with food and non-food items in 15 affected districts.

• The Emergency Response Appeal launched on 28 March has received contributions and pledges amounting USD 25.6 million out of the needed US$45.2 million. Funding received includes contributions from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) amounting to USD 3.3 million. Current funding gap stands at USD19.6 million.

• The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) in collaboration with partners has developed a mimum return package that will support a participatory return of flood-affected displaced populations and their transition to early recovery.
The return package was launched in Chikwawa District on 27 April.

• The Humanitarian Country Team meeting on 24 April 2019 discussed progress made in responding to Cyclone Idai. Preliminary results of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and findings from a rapid market assessment to inform potential multi-sectoral cash-based interventions were also presented at the meeting. The market assessment conducted in selected hard-hit districts shows that markets are functional and can support market-based responses and recovery interventions.

• A Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) has been completed. The draft report is undergoing consultations and validation with plans to launch results of the same.

• The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) has indicated that cyclone Kenneth poses no threat to weather in Malawi.

• Elections: The Malawi Electoral Commission(MEC) MEC will set up satellite polling stations to allow IDPs in camps to vote. MEC has done its own assessment of the camps particularly in Lower Shire.

Situation Overview

Humanitarian assistance continues to be channeled to flood affected households reaching more than 92,000 households through the support of DoDMA and partners. Affected households have been reached with food requirements. Food packages are not standardized with some households receiving cash while others receiving food in form of maize or rice. The nutrition situation has largely remained unaffected by the flooding and malnutrition cases so far fall within sphere standards. Partners continued the normal provision of nutrition supplies to identified individuals. Efforts have been made to meet the specific needs of women and children by various partners through targeted interventions such as distribution of dignity kits, creation of safe spaces and distribution of nutrition supplies, among others. Currently, partners are encouraged to contribute towards the return home package for populations willing to return and start their rebuilding process.

Weather conditions have improved as flood waters recede following a general reduction in rainfall thereby providing an opportunity for a return of populations in areas that have dried up. The conditions also provide impetus for a focus on priority recovery needs of the displaced populations. Affected households willing to return to their places of origin are being encouraged to do so in order to avoid secondary effects of the humanitarian conditions such as disease outbreaks. To this effect, government in collaboration with its partners has developed a return home package for individual affected households that have expressed interest to return. The package comprises of 2 Tarpaulin (4 x 6 m), 1 Plastic Sheet (20 m), 1 shovel, 1 hoe, 1 machete, 2 blankets, 2 sleeping mats, 2 mosquito nets, 1 plastic pail, 6 plastic cups, 6 plastic plates, 6 plastic spoons, 25kgs of maize flour, 2 litres of cooking oil, 10kgs of pulses, 1 bale of soya pieces, 1 kg of dry fish, 1 kg of sugar, 1 kg of salt, 2kgs of maize seeds, 2 packets of vegetable seeds, 2 potato vines and 2 bundles of cassava cuttings. The receding of flood waters also increases the potential for yield from winter cropping using irrigation and residual moisture. The Government in collaboration with the Malawi Red Cross launched the recovery package on 27 April 2019 in Chikwawa district.

A rapid market assessment carried out by the Cash Working Group in five worst affected districts (Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe, Balaka and Zomba) shows that markets are functional and can support marketbased response interventions. The assessment followed a multi-sector approach and used adapted Rapid Assessment for Markets (RAM) tool. A total of 41 market places were visited and 177 traders (wholesalers and retailers), 41 market representatives and 22 Area Civil protection Committee leaders were interviewed.

According to the report, floods have not negatively influenced prices, mainly due to better integration of the local markets to the supply markets. Traders demonstrated great willingness to increase supply if demand increased. The report recommends a switch in response modality from in-kind to cash and voucher based interventions by cash working group members for response and recovery interventions; continue monitoring functionality of markets when cash based interventions are rolled out; monitoring traders’ capacity to expand supply if demand increased; and the need to develop Cash and Markets Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures for Malawi, to inform cash and markets related actions for both rapid and slow onset disasters.
The Government of Malawi, in its recovery efforts from the Cyclone Idai, led the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment in April 2019. The objective of this assessment was to estimate the physical, economic and human impact of the 2019 floods at the national and district levels. The findings from the PDNA will inform short, medium and long-term interventions that will strengthen the Government of Malawi’s recovery, reconstruction and resilience building with the aim of Building Back Better. The UN, in partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Child and Disability led the Cross-Cutting component, ensuring that issues of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion for the vulnerable was analyzed, prioritized and incorporated in the PDNA sectors, and key interventions to vulnerable groups are prioritized, targeted and costed. Other Crosscutting issues such as environment and governance, which provide the enabling environment for recovery were also analyzed and incorporated in the PDNA. The report is currently undergoing consultative and validation processes.
The HCT met on 24 April to review the progress on the flood response. The meeting noted tremendous support from partners in responding to the floods but inadequate coordination mainly at district level was cited as a challenge. The meeting also noted that several interventions at district level remain unreported effectively hindering coordination. Members were requested to ensure that all intervention regardless of size are reported at district level to the District Councils and national level to DoDMA. Members were also asked to collaborate to ensure that return home packages are realised noting that most partners would find it difficult to access all items indicated in the package. Members were further requested to integrate early recovery in their interventions.

Coordination and cluster meetings at national and regional level continue being undertaken although linkages between these meetings need to be strengthened. Regional meetings are being held in Blantyre chaired by DoDMA and supported by WFP. Cluster meetings are being held weekly while inter-cluster coordination meetings are being held bi-weekly. The EOCs at national and regional level continue to operate and are expected to operate until the end of the month. Coordination challenges at district level persist but is mainly attributed to lack of resources by the district councils, information management and sharing at national and district level.

There has been one confirmed cholera case in Mchinji district but unrelated to the flooding. However, six suspected cases in Bangula camp in Nsanje and Mwanza were registered and are currently being tested.
As of 26 April, cumulative number of cholera cases stands at 14 with one death.

The humanitarian response currently needs to establish the numbers of people that have returned to their places of origin and those remaining in displacement sites to further inform the current response and recovery programming. IOM is currently undertaking the third round of displacement tracking (DTM) which will inform on population movements inside and outside displacement sites.