Natural disasters have claimed 68 lives and 192 injuries since the 2019/20 rainy season begun, says the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma).
According to Secretary and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Wilson Moleni, since the onset of the rainy season 55 077 households have been affected by various disasters ranging from flash floods, strong winds, fire, lightning and stormy rains.
“In Karonga District alone, over 2 500 households have been displaced and have sought refuge in churches and primary schools due to heavy flooding,” said Moleni on Wednesday when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) donated 272 housing units to government.
Every year the nation faces disasters particularly, floods, strong winds, dry spells and drought.
According to UNHCR country representative Fatima Mohammed-Cole, the donation is to help Malawians in times of need where 36 of the units valued at K261.7 million will be given to Ministry of Health for issues like cholera and coronavirus.
“We are donating to Dodma and the Ministry of Health, this is not the first time we have provided humanitarian assistance to Malawi, we know that housing is a problem so this will help. The units are not like normal tents because they are very durable, can stay up to four years, and they take up to six hours to be mounted,” she said.
In June last year, UNHCR and the Malawi Government jointly provided a return package which, among others, comprised maize, blankets, kitchen utensils, building materials and buckets, to 7 088 Malawian and 412 Mozambican families displaced by the March 2019 Cyclone-Idai induced floods.
A post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) that was conducted after the 2015 floods estimated damages and losses across different sectors at $335 million (K2447.9 billion) while the cost of recovery and reconstruction requirements were estimated at $494 million (K365.6 billion).
A PDNA of 2016 drought estimated damages and losses at $365.9 million (K270.7 billion) while recovery requirements were estimated at $500.2 million (K370.1 billion).