Work has started to deliver emergency food to families who have lost their homes in severe flooding.

Islamic Relief’s Malawi office organised for the delivery of 900 food packs for the many families who have been left with nothing following the severe rainfall in the south African country.

The food packs will be distributed to nine wards in Blantyre city and three villages in Chikwawa district, which are in the south of the country. Staff members have already given out 122 food packs to families in Blantyre. The number of people displaced across the country is estimated to be 121,000 people, around 64,000 hectares of land have been submerged and crops belonging to 638,000 people have been lost.

Staff distribute aid following the floods in Malawi

Staff distribute aid following the floods in Malawi

Our fast reaction to the disaster has been praised by government officials, who requested international assistance following the devastating floods. Special advisory to the president Mr Mavuto Bamusi thanked us for our prompt response, and appealed to other NGOs to follow our lead. Adrian Mpinjanjira, Blantyre administrator, told Islamic Relief staff that 2,750 homes had been destroyed in just one of the 25 city wards and asked for continued support.

We have carried out building assessments and found 475 houses in just one village had been completely destroyed.

Sherifa Mia, head of programmes at Islamic Relief in Malawi, said: “So many people have lost so much. We met one woman who was living in her father’s home after her house collapsed in the floods. Days later, her father’s house also collapsed.

“Many displaced people are in urgent need of tents, foods, and non-food items like blankets, kitchen utensils, mosquito nets, hygiene packs and chlorine for water treatment. As the floods have happened during planting season, many farmers have lost their crops and will need long-term assistance with seeds to replant their fields once the waters reside. Many farmers have lost their livestock too and will need further support to replace their assets.”

A state of emergency was declared in Malawi at the beginning of January following weeks of torrential rain. High water levels saw the 250-mile long Shire River break its banks, and flood water swept away roads and bridges, cutting off whole communities. Support our emergency response.