with this report we would like to share with all of you really dramatic news about Malawi and Mangochi District: on March 13th Cyclone Freddy has hit the Country, 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. During the past years some areas of Malawi had been hit by the heavy rain, while this year the whole Country has been involved and the damage is immense: people have lost everything, their huts have been destroyed, bridges have collapsed, crops fields have been completely flooded and mud has covered houses and every means of production. Schools have been closed and it is still difficult to move around the Country.
Large amounts of water, that in many cases is stagnant and sewerage, have caused spread cholera epidemics. The country was already fighting against one of the most severe cholera epidemics of the past decades which has killed more than 1,600 people since last year. Mangochi District, where Aleimar works, accounts for about 50% of the recorded cholera cases.
The devastation of fields will lead to the huge reduction of crops, increasing food insecurity and the risk of malnutrition mainly among children. At the moment an estimated 4.8 million children, one in two children in the country, are in humanitarian need. 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 lead to death sentence for thousands of children in Malawi. Unfortunately, medications are difficult to find or are totally absent and a lot of people be cared.
This emergency situation has pushed our Country Manager Angela to anticipate the periodic monitoring trip to Malawi and last month she has seen with her eyes the condition on the field, which has not been broadcasted by European media. It is hard to witness this catastrophic event and the feeling of fear and experienced by whole families. The efforts of the local population to recover are relevant, but we can report the lack of economic resources and an active resolution strategy.
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. That’s why the demand of pedal pumps is always higher and urgent: clean water increases food security and good health practices. Our local representative Father Kimu is supporting 104 families victim of the cyclone providing food and -when possible- shelters. To ensure their food security and to improve their health conditions, Aleimar would like to provide these families pedal pumps. Each pedal pump costs 250 USD and we hope that we will be able to reach our goals thanks to your fundamental support. Now more than ever your prcious help is essential!
Emergency in Malawi
Food distribution in Mangochi