Finishing Flood Relief in Southern Africa

April 14, 2015 • Malawi
Responding to Flooding in Southern Africa
Magi is the single mother of five children. She works on other people's farms to support her children. Early in the morning of January 12, Magi noticed water flowing into her house. She was able to escape with her children, but their house and all their belongings were washed away. The village chief sent them to a primary school where they registered with more than 300 other families. On April 1, after sleeping with in a crowded classroom for three months, Magi received a shelter from Samaritan's Purse that she can live in until it's safe to rebuild her home.

Samaritan’s Purse brought help to disaster victims in Malawi and Mozambique

Responding to Flooding in Southern Africa

Mary Mwanaku is a single mother of five children, ranging from 4 to 15 years old. She lost her home and all of her belongings to the floods in January. Mary had been sleeping at a displacement camp in a one room nursery building with 138 other families until she received a shelter kit from Samaritan’s Purse on March 31. She was able to leave the camp and build her shelter near her father’s house because it’s not yet safe for her to return to her own lot.

The southern districts of Malawi have been inundated with rain since early January 2015, leading to severe flooding. Reports show that at least 174,000 people have been displaced and 638,000 have been affected.

The president declared a state of emergency on January 13 in 15 of the 28 districts and made an appeal to the international community for assistance. Displaced people were living in temporary sites such as churches, schools, and camps, and conditions were cramped with a lack of basic services.

In one 24-hour period, Malawi received 1.5 months worth of rain. The flooding left people without food, clean water, or health care. Large portions of land, houses, and crops were underwater, and livestock had been washed away. Drinking water was contaminated through the flooding, and water-related diseases, such as malaria and cholera, became a threat.

Samaritan’s Purse mobilized to respond to this critical situation on January 26. A disaster assistance relief team was sent to join our partners in the three hardest hit districts in Malawi. Our focus was to reach affected people through shelter, water, sanitation, and hygiene. We worked in established camps to deliver emergency relief supplies and flew our supplies in by helicopter to areas cut off by water.

Responding to Flooding in Southern Africa

Esther Gomani lives with her daughter, who is a single mother. On the afternoon of January 12, the village chief warned them of approaching floodwaters. They only had time to pack a few clothes before they had to abandon everything and escape to the safety of a displacement camp. After sharing classrooms at night with more than 300 families and being homeless during the day for three months, Ester received a kit of materials to build a shelter to live in with her daughter until they can rebuild their home.

In total, we distributed 952 shelter kits and constructed 572. Construction is still ongoing with the help of a team of carpenters from the community.

Manuel June was among the hundreds who received an emergency shelter kit from Samaritan’s Purse. His house was washed away along with all his possessions. Manuel only managed to escape with his children and the clothes they were wearing. He was unable to save his wife, leaving him to care for his five children alone.

Since the flood, he had been staying with another family, and had to pay rent he couldn’t afford. Now he has his own shelter.

We also constructed a total of 64 pit latrines in two districts, 16 bathing shelters, and three kitchen areas, and completed drainage canals as needed in each camp.

In Chigwamafumu and Chikali communities, we distributed 1,000 kits containing water and hygiene items. Before delivering the kits, we held a hygiene and sanitation training to teach the communities how to purify water, among other topics.

Among those receiving a kit was 55-year-old Dorothy Kapesi, a widow whose mud house was completely destroyed. She lost all her belongings and chickens and was only able to grab a few clothes before escaping to higher ground. She was thankful for the kit and told our staff that it was the only help she had received other than some maize.

We helped our partners in Malawi distribute food and non-food items to a total of 750 households. These items included blankets, plastic buckets, Bibles, bars of soap, mosquito nets, and medical supplies.

Our staff members in Mozambique also responded to needs in that country. We worked with local partners to distribute food, blankets, water buckets, soap, mosquito nets, and medical supplies for the flood victims.

Please pray for continuing strength and encouragement for those who are trying to rebuild homes and livelihoods.

Thirty tons of emergency relief from Samaritan's Purse has arrived in the Bahamas.
International Emergency Relief When natural disasters strike or armed conflict causes people to flee, Samaritan's Purse responds quickly to bring relief to those in urgent need. We can provide food, clean water, and shelter, among other necessities. One way we help in disaster situations is by handing out “family survival kits” that include warm blankets, buckets with water filters, cooking utensils, soap, and other daily essentials. For just $45, we can provide a lifeline to a family that has lost everything, to help them get back on their feet.

International Emergency Relief 013310
Suggested Gift: $45