Heavy rains from the Cyclone Idai weather system beginning March 5 caused extensive flooding in Malawi, leading to a declaration of disaster by the Government of Malawi. Increased winds and flooding when the cyclone made landfall on March 15 exacerbated the situation.
The floods affected almost 1 million people. Homes and infrastructure were destroyed, agriculture fields and livestock have washed away, and there is substantial damage to sanitation facilities, which poses a serious risk of waterborne disease. Thousands have people have been displaced and are lodging in schools and temporary shelters, which poses an increased risk of the spread of disease, and causes privacy and protection challenges for women and girls.
Plan’s intervention in Malawi will prioritize immediate shelter and sanitation needs, including some of the particular needs faced by women and girls.
They are providing water storage containers and water purification tablets, dignity kits and menstrual hygiene kits. Plan is also conducting hygiene education sessions to ensure that families understand how to prevent the spread of disease. Plan will also be distributing blankets and house repair kits, in an effort to facilitate the return of families to their own homes.