President Peter Mutharika has said preliminary assessment shows that the damage caused by the flood disaster to the economy is estimated at $46 million (about MK23.9 billion).
“The recent floods have caused a lot of damage and will therefore bring many negative socioeconomic effects to the Malawian economy,” said Mutharika today in his State of the Nation Address.
“The growth for the country is largely driven by agriculture, manufacturing, electricity, water and mining sectors, among others.
“These have also been adversely affected by the floods, to the extent that the country is likely to achieve economic growth lower than 5.8 percent projected earlier for 2015,” added Mutharika.
The Malawi leader said this cost excludes the cost of the relief programmes currently underway and damage caused to infrastructure.
So far 176 people have died in Malawi floods with 200 000 others displaced.
Around 234 schools are damaged and 181 were being used as relocation sites for displaced people who have lost their homes in the floods. This means a total of 415 schools affected.
Mutharika said an estimated 200,000 students are not able to attend school due to their schools being flooded or occupied by those who require temporary shelters.
He noted that most health centres in flood prone areas are also damaged or lack of personnel and medical supplies to cope with the needs of displaced populations.
The Department of Surveys estimates that 63,531 hectares have been submerged by flood waters as of 13 January 2015.
It is estimated that around 116,000 farmers country-wide have been affected with 35,000 hectares of cropland impacted.
Typical Malawi rural households rely on sales of agricultural produce and livestock.
The washing away of these assets has, therefore, aggravated the food insecurity situation in the economy, noted Mutharika.
“In this respect, the floods will have a huge impact on household food security during 2015/16 consumption season,” Mutharika said.
He said the government is looking for money amounting to $81 million (or about MK38 billion) to fully support those people who have been affect by floods in the country.
Mutharika two weeks ago declare 15 districts affected by the floods as Disaster Zones.