Six Babies Born in One Camp Following Malawi Floods this January

A national disaster has been declared in Malawi as heavy rain and flooding have left 121,000 people displaced and 54 dead.

Nsanje, a district in southern Malawi, has been one of the worst hit; approximately 15,000 households were relocated to 15 emergency camps established by government across the district.

According to ActionAid Malawi, about 4,000 people are being housed in Bangula camp, where food is in short supply. In this camp alone there are 60 pregnant women, who are not receiving the attention they require, including enough food. Six babies have been born so far at Bangula camp, which was only set up this month.

Tissie Msonkho, Communications Officer at ActionAid Malawi said: “We have visited a number of camps across the district of Nsanje. In the campsites visited children did not receive any porridge flour.  Pregnant women and people on daily medication were seen lying down helplessly due to hunger.  Some people complained not to have eaten the whole day today, or skipped lunch to save on their food rations.

“There are inadequate sanitary facilities in the camps like toilets, buckets, and soap, adding to fears that the camps could become breeding environments for communicable diseases like Diarrhoea, Cholera and TB.”

Nsanje, Chikhwawa and Phalombe are the most affected districts but flooding has also severely affected citizens in Chiradzulu and even the city of Blantyre.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with life expectancy of just 55 years and an average GDP per capita of just $715 a year. The area is a similar size to Ireland with a population of 16.36 million.

The current disaster has pushed an already impoverished population to its limits and food and non-food items are now essential to help the small farmers and vulnerable people who have been left destitute.

For more information or to make a donation to help the families affected by these floods visit www.actionaid.ie

 

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For media information contact:

Jo-Ann Enright; Communications Coordinator; ActionAid Ireland

Jo-Ann.Enright@actionaid.ie / 01 8787 7911