Photo of the Week: Malawi Floods

Torrential rains in early January caused catastrophic flooding in southern Malawi, leaving up to twenty thousand people cut off from the rest of the country, without food, health care and ways to prevent possible outbreaks.

MSF started its emergency relief operation on January 8th, starting in the more accessible Mangochi, Chikhwawa and Neno districts and thereafter refocusing on the Nsanje district, especially in East Bank where the needs are greatest. 

Despite a decrease of the water levels, access to the population remains complex in many parts of the district, especially on the eastern bank of the Shire river. The floods have greatly deteriorated  the road on that side and has created a new branch of the river that cuts off an entire stretch of land from any possible access by vehicles. Only helicopters or small boats and canoes, weather conditions permitting, allow access to the 20,000 people trapped on this “island”. Access to the remaining 35,000 people living in the northern part of this bank is also very limited by an unpaved road with 13 destroyed bridges.