Malawi: Flood recovery and community resilience

Posted on February 23, 2015 by Lutheran Disaster Response
Megan Brandsrud

Malawi flooding - courtesy of ELDS

In January, Malawi was hit with unprecedented flooding after days of heavy rains. Approximately 230,000 people were displaced due to the emergency and more than 200 people died – with more than 100 people still missing. Overall, approximately 630,000 people in the southern African country have been impacted by the devastating floods.

Two of the most impacted districts are Chikwawa and Phalombe. Evangelical Lutheran Development Service (ELDS), a program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi, is active in these districts. With ELDS, Lutheran Disaster Response is helping provide assistance to 22,000 people in Chikwawa and Phalombe districts. Assistance will be focused on emergency shelter, health, food security, water and sanitation.

  • Temporary shelter items will include plastic sheeting, nails and poles.
  • Health efforts will include first-aid training and distribution of bed nets to reduce malaria infection, which is currently higher than normal due to the water.
  • Water and sanitation support will include distribution of buckets, water treatment products used to make water potable and hygiene kits. One hundred latrines will also be constructed to serve households in the districts.

Members of the communities where ELDS will be active will also take part in a community-based psychosocial and disaster-risk management program to help build capacity and resilience to the effects of disaster.

In order to ensure that communities are fully represented, ELDS will work to integrate cross-cutting issues into the project so that women, children, elderly parents and people living with HIV/AIDS are reached.

While disaster recovery is just beginning, Lutheran Disaster Response will continue to accompany the people of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi throughout their whole journey in working to rebuild communities and bolster resilience.

If you would like to support Lutheran Disaster Response’s work in responding to the flooding in Malawi, please visit theLutheran Disaster Response giving page.

Photo courtesy of Evangelical Lutheran Development Service.

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