Cyclone Freddy has hit Malawi on March 13th and is shaping up to be the longest-lasting storm on record since its arrival in southern Africa in late February. Malawi is bearing the brunt of the storm: more than 11,000 people have been affected, and the south-central regions, where Aleimar has been operating since 2014, are at the brink of collapse. The cyclone's impact has aggravated the situation in a country grappling with the deadliest cholera epidemic in its history.
Cyclone Freddy has violently hit Malawi and the inhabitants of the involved ares, specifically in the south-central regions, have lost everything: their huts have been destroyed, crop fields completely flooded, and mud is engulfing everything. The country is already fighting against one of the most severe cholera epidemic of the past decades which has killed more than 1,600 people since last year. The Mangochi district, where Aleimar works, account for about 50% of the recorded cholera cases.
The emergency relief fund is crucial to bring immediate humanitarian assitance: an estimated 4.8 million children, one in two children in the country, are in humanitarian need. By the end of March, more than 213,000 children under the age of five will be severely malnourished. Because a severely malnourished child is 11 times more likely to die of cholera than a well-nourished child, a cholera outbreak such as the current one may amount to a death sentence for thousands of children in Malawi.
The current environmental disaster will have severe consequences on the alrady fragile and food-insecure communities in the rural areas. The main issue in the Mangochi District is lack of clean water, which in turn is one of the main factors contributing to the spread of cholera, and with the current cyclone hitting the area, destroying the infrastructures and the fields, the population will need long-term assistance to rebuild the agricultural system which is the key of their survival.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).