In several occasions between the 4th and the 11th February 2017, Salima District (Central Region, Republic of Malawi) experimented flash floods in the Traditional Authorities of Ndindi, Pemba, Kambwiri and Maganga. The District started experiencing flash floods from the 4th February and the worst floods occurred on the morning of the 10th February. To respond to the current emergency and to support the affected populations, five camps have been set up. COOPI supported Salima District during the assessment phase and decided to activate the Crisis Modifier of its ECHO funded Action, in order to support the displaced communities with the delivery of Non Food Items kits. A Crisis Modifier is a programme component written to allow partners to respond rapidly to address humanitarian needs, reducing livelihood and other development losses.
COOPI activated the Crisis Modifier
The project Crisis Modifier mentions that: “In case of a rapid onset-disaster an emergency multi-sector, life-saving response is delivered to the target geographic locations (Salima, Mangochi and neighboring District areas) within 2 weeks after the disaster”.
It has been designed as a Crisis Modifier ready to trigger in the event of an emergency upon authorization from ECHO to support the affected populations in the first weeks after the occurrence of the disaster.
The damages amount
As mentioned before, COOPI supported Salima District during the assessment and the validation of the figures. A District report of the 15th February 2017 registered 1,730 displaced households. A total of 8,548 internally displaced persons were divided in 5 camps, set up for the emergency: Kandulu Safe Haven, Lifidzi Primary School, M’gwirizano Primary School, Msumwa Primary School, Mtanda Woyera Warehouse.
On the agricultural side, a total of 1,827 hectares belonging to 6,419 farmers have been affected in the District by being washed away – submerged in a mixture of water, sand and mud – and therefore requiring replanting in those affected areas. The mostly affected crops are maize, rice, cowpeas, cassava and sweet potato.
«With COOPI’s project Strengthening emergency preparedness and resilience of hazard-exposed communities in Salima and Mangochi Districts we have been able to support the displaced population with the provision of Non Food Items Kits» declared Ondine Tsaconas, COOPI’s Head of Mission in Malawi. «Between the 17th and the 18th February, we distributed to each displaced household a kit containing soap, water guards, a mosquito net, a package of sanitary pads for women, a plastic pail with tap and relief blankets», she continued.
She added also: «Thanks to the intervention funded by ECHO, and COOPI intervention in Salima District before the occurrence of the flash floods, the Early Warning System implemented was effective, as downstream communities living in flood prone areas were warned in time and this resulted into no fatalities».