Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dire conditions for Malawi's flood survivors

IRIN: For those who have lost everything in southern Malawi’s Chikwawa District, just getting the next meal is now the priority. “Life is unbearable here. We hardly get food, but what else can we do? We cannot go back to our homes. They are under water and probably [fallen] down by now,” said displaced Aman Maomao, who is among hundreds sheltering in the grounds of a local public building.

In total 1.15 million Malawians have been affected by the flooding of 15 of the country’s 28 districts, which followed heavy rains a month ago. In all, some 336,000 people have been displaced and 276 are missing or dead.

“We have been hit and we are in this situation. There is nothing we can do. We are waiting for the necessities, as we cannot go back home,” said a man who identified himself as Aswell Guta.

When it rains at night, the displaced do their best to find some space in the few tents but they are usually used for medical consultations and are too small to be decent dormitories. They are segregated by sex, but not by age: children share the sleeping quarters with adults. In other displacement sites, men and women share tents.

Only one of the 20 displacement sites in Chikwawa district has enough tents to meet the needs of those living there. In the others many sleep in the open, with few cooking utensils, mosquito nets and buckets....

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