Malawi: Strong Winds and Heavy Rains - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF Operation n° MDRMW015


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On 21st November 2021, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) released a warning, which cautioned Malawians to brace up for heavy rains coupled with thunderstorms associated with destructive gusty strong winds, which would hit the South and gradually move to central and northern region parts of the country from 24th to 28th November 2021.

As forecasted in the published alert, Salima district started getting heavy clouds in the afternoon of the 24th November 2021 which later turned into a very heavy storm that lasted for more than three hours. The area recorded 45.1 mm of rainfall associated with high temperatures up to 39 Degree Celsius. During this period, only a few houses were affected. The storms resurfaced on 25th November and continued to 28th November, accompanied by heavy rains and winds causing serious damages to the four Traditional Authorities of Maganga, Kalonga, Kambwiri and Pemba. No deaths or injuries were reported but the impact of the disaster was unprecedented on the people with large affected areas of houses. At the time of the rapid assessment, 1,188 households were affected with most of them having their roofs brown off. Household items (HHIs), food stocks, WASH learning amenities were also damaged. About 98 households were also reported to be displaced and hosted by families and neighbours within the communities. However, no camps were established.

This crisis started earlier in July, with the consecutive and cumulative impact of the storm and heavy rainfall. For the period July 2021 to 19 November 2021, several districts have been affected by stormy rains and heavy rains including Lilongwe, Mulanje, Mangochi, Chikwawa, Ntcheu, Machinga, Balaka, Zomba, Chiradzulu, Phalombe, Salima, Mzuzu and Blantyre affecting a total of 11,100 households across the districts with 13 registered deaths (seven due to lightning strikes and six because of collapsed walls due to strong winds and stormy rains) and 51 injuries. Some of the affected households are being hosted by the families and neighbours within the communities.