The recent floods that hit 15 districts led to a negligible 0.12 percent loss in the country’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) valued at $6.3 billion (about K4.7 trillion), it has emerged.
The projection is contained in a 2019 Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report Vice-President Everton Chimulirenji launched at Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe on Wednesday.
The report says Malawi needs K290 billion to recover from the impact of floods which affected 975 000 people.
It further indicates that 288 371 houses were damaged, 1 841 kilometres of roads and 129 bridges were destroyed. Other infrastructure that was affected includes 154 private and public primary school blocks and 81 teachers’ houses.
In his speech, Chimulirenji said the recent floods caused a lot of damage to livelihoods and lives; hence, government’s efforts to intervene in helping victims who resettled in their communities after floods.
He said: “The March floods caused significant damage to infrastructure and property. Its magnitude and the resultant damage and loss warranted government to swiftly move in.
“Through improved coordination at national and district level, we have managed to respond to the disaster despite some challenges that emerged.”
In terms of housing, government needs about K106.6 billion for reconstruction and renovation while the education sector needs K62.9 billion as the cost of recovery.
United Nations resident coordinator Maria Jose Torress Macho said the UN community supported Malawi as it sympathises with 975 000 affected people whose lives, livelihoods and communities were impacted by the floods which occurred due to Cyclone Idai.
She said: “The government and its partners managed to mobilise 88 percent of the $45.2 million (about K34 billion) required for implementation of Malawi’s Flood Response Plan, which reached 731 900 affected people.
This is a particularly significant achievement when one considers the many competing humanitarian needs globally.”
World Bank country manager Greg Toulmin said the Bretton Woods institution is supporting the country in recovery efforts with resources to the tune of $120 million (about K90 billion) from its subsidiary, International Development Agency (IDA).
But he cautioned that Malawi should prioritise social sectors such as health and education and that strengthen financial systems to improve transparency and accountability in the recovery plan.