Malawi: Flooding crisis update

Crisis upate: January 2015

Torrential rain in Malawi caused devastating floods and left thousands stranded without access to food and water.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is focusing its intervention on the most hard-to-reach areas of Nsanje and East Bank. We are currently the only humanitarian organisation physically present to support people.

Malawi flood response

  • MSF began responding to the floods on 8th January
  • 130 consultations were performed on the first day
  • 1,300 water treatment kits distributed: three week supply for a household of six
  • Mosquito nets for 8,000 people
  • 28 latrines for 1,400 people

Access is very limited due to very bad roads, strong currents and floating debris that prevent access by motorised boats.

At least 20,000 people have been without food, clean water and medical aid for 10 days. Since 20 January we have established a continuous presence in two locations: Trinity and Makhanga.

Three teams are at work distributing mosquito nets and clean water kits, as well as building latrines and monitoring the situation for the potential emergence of water-borne diseases and malaria.

There are still four other “islands” (slightly higher areas where people have found refuge) that are still inaccessible. We’re looking at ways to send mobile clinics there, too.

Besides these areas, three other teams are providing healthcare in the most needed areas of the western side of the river which is easier to access. We are also involved in cleaning wells and digging latrines.