March 22, 2023
MARCH 21, 2023 UPDATE:
Rains from Cyclone Freddy, the longest in recorded history, have begun to subside and Malawians are beginning to start assessing the damage. The government reports that 363,000 people have been displaced, most of whom are sheltering at one of the 505 hastily established displacement camps. The news has reported at least 447 confirmed deaths, and 282 people still missing in southern Malawi, with numbers expected to increase.
Our Country Director Joyce Jere and senior leadership team went to Phalombe on Friday to meet with GAIA staff and assess the extent of damage. She also visited some of the supported field work and met with impacted villagers. In the photo below, Joyce visits with children who fled their homes during the flooding to reach higher ground on the mountain with their parents to wait out the heavy rain.
GAIA clinics will begin supporting camps in Phalombe this week (joining similar efforts begun in Mulanje last week); our team met with the District Health Office to coordinate efforts.
In addition to delivering clinical care at the camps, GAIA support to District Health Offices so far has included:
- Delivery of drugs at displacement campsites and health facilities via GAIA ambulance
- ART clinics at local health facilities
- Regular GAIA mobile health clinics in accessible villages
The GAIA U.S. team is doing everything we can to raise funds to help with immediate needs: food, water, medical supplies, tents, blankets, flashlights, dignity kits, hand washing baskets, bath soap, mosquito nets, mobile toilets, vehicle parts, fuel, and much more. We’ve also incurred substantial costs providing housing, meals, and stipends to the seven GAIA staff and their families now residing in a local hotel, and equipment damaged during the flooding and its aftermath.
You can help us support GAIA Malawi’s efforts by donating here.
MARCH 15, 2023 UPDATE:
As reported, at least 190 people are confirmed dead, and Malawi’s president has called a state of disaster in all of the districts where GAIA works. The GAIA Malawi team is tired and deeply affected by the death and destruction they are witnessing.
GAIA Country Director Joyce Jere visited some of the evacuees in Mulanje today and shared that "the people are strong but full of tears."
Please help us show support by donating today.
Malawi is reeling from an unprecedented and catastrophic cyclone that has already killed hundreds due to strong winds causing damage to roads and buildings, severe flooding, and mudslides. Many of GAIA’s staff in Phalombe district have had to be evacuated from their homes, including one who required a rescue by a rope through deep water. In the last 48 hours, the southern region of the country has received 12-16 inches of rain, with continued rain forecasted for tomorrow.
Currently our Mobile Health Clinics and staff have been activated to support regional rescue efforts and provide medical care in displacement camps throughout Mulanje District. Additional interventions will be added over the coming days.
Urgent funding for supplies, temporary housing, fuel and vehicle parts for rescue efforts and so much more are needed immediately.
You can help us support the GAIA Malawi team’s efforts by clicking the button below to donate now.