Tropical Strom Ana derails Community Health Clubs in Malawi

Tropical Storm Ana hit the southern part of Malawi in Late January 2022. Helen Timoffee, Director Health Lives International writes, ‘The whole Southern area is under water. Bridges and roads are destroyed, people are stranded on the tarmac as it is the only area not under water. AID agencies are not able to get to people because of damaged roads. Some of our CHC members are in camps. Derlinie and our Community Health Promoters had planned a community garden but that land is washed away and is now sand and the irrigation piping they had planned to use was affected. They are looking for another piece of land. Although houses in Thabwa where the CHC is located were not destroyed, people are in camps because toilets or kitchens have been destroyed. In some areas people’s houses have collapsed. 

The  team mobilized quickly and were able to get food supplies to villages that were cut off by the flooded roads. Sarah, the Country Director  arranged a lorry with supplies to get to the river and people unloaded the supplies by forming a human chain and carried the supplies across the water to the other side where another lorry was waiting. They delivered 5 loads of ufa, cooking oil, salt and sugar to approximately 15,460 people.

Because we are a small organization we were able to mobilize quickly: we collected money and food from other organizations and individuals inside and outside of Malawi.

It kept raining in February and there was so much destruction that it is taking time for communities to rebuild. One of the main problems is that the fertile land that their crops were on has disappeared and now just sand is left. They are going to have to come up with crops that will grow in sand. We are helping villages with their priorities right now and will begin a new club when they are ready.