Friday, 23 January 2015

Malawi Devastated by Floods - More than 200,000 People Displaced

Homes, schools, churches, offices have been washed away, others have been destroyed by the floods. In recent weeks, Malawi has experienced the worst flooding in her history. More than 150 people have been killed, hundreds more missing and an estimated 200,000 people have been displaced.

As international and local organisations in Malawi co-ordinate efforts to respond to the devastating affects of the floods, relocate people to safe areas and establish camps for those displaced - the situation in Malawi is being reported around the world.

Schools have been turned into temporary refuge centres as organisations establish tented camps. As families wait to be rescued, food and emergency supplies are being dropped into remote areas and delivered to camps. Many of Malawi's roads have been damaged and bridges washed away making getting to the worst affected places all the more difficult.

The photos below, show some of the scenes from across Malawi of areas affected by the flooding.

  (Photograph; Bonex Julius/AFP/Getty Images)

Family waits for relief during Malawi flooding (Photograph: Thoko Chikonde/AP)

The road from Bangula to Makhanga (Photograph Julian Lefevre, MSF)

 (Photograph; Bonex Julius/AFP/Getty Images)

The aftermath of the floods, bring with it the threat of disease, famine and devastation which will take months and years to rectify. A friend and colleague who has lived and worked in Malawi made the following comment (via Facebook) with which I can relate. 
"Shocking - I know many of these places - the effect on crops and health (flooded latrines, contaminated water supply - will be dreadful. Please help if you can (UNICEF, Chikwawa Health Initiative on emergency relief, and Mary's Meals and other to be continuing critical work in the affected areas)"
Like my friend, I know and have visited many of the areas which have been affected by the floods. I have friends throughout Malawi and I can only hope that they (and their families) are safe and well. I worked with Mary's Meals in Malawi and have seen the benefits of their work and the work of other organisations throughout the country. 

Talking to another friend this morning, they asked what I knew about the situation in Malawi. They commented that the news headline they'd seen felt much more 'real' because they knew someone (me) who had a strong connection to the place and the people. It made them think twice about what otherwise would be a news report about a distance place.

The people of Malawi are strong and resilient people, but they need help! Your Help!

If you can, please help, there are many organisations working in affected areas across Malawi, your support will help ensure they can continue with critical and lifesaving work.