© 2012 AID AFRICA  UK Registered Charity Number 1116336

Serving the most vulnerable      in rural Malawi

Extreme weather formed the backdrop of this trip—violent rainstorms, flooding and cyclones in January battered vulnerable communities, causing widespread damage to housing, property and crops.


News commentators claimed this to be the worst  disaster in Malawi’s history.

Nationally, a month’s rain fell in 24 hours, flooding was 2-3m deep in places and it’s estimated over 200 lost their lives, with 200,000 displaced.

Around our Centre, about 1500 people became homeless, and many other domestic buildings fell—kitchens, toilets and livestock kholas, leaving impoverished families to find shelter in schools, churches and other public buildings. This was the “hunger period”, but these extreme conditions caused even more distress as mud-brick kitchens collapsed and their contents — what little maize was left — swept away.


High winds Cyclones


Summer Report 2015

including February-May trip


Family sitting on what’s left of their home

As the disaster unfolded, our local staff were able to quickly assess, and put a significant relief operation into action. Emergency food, soap, and plastic sheeting were distributed to the hungry and homeless.  Our regular Food Programme (25kgs maize, dried soya meals & soap) was successfully issued monthly to 200 families, from Christmas to February. However, the situation with these vulnerable households was so dire, we responded to their pleas and managed to add a further distribution in March.

Others were also in need, so we introduced 2 separate monthly distributions for another 100 families.

In total, we distributed more than 25 tonnes of maize,  over 11,000 soya meals, 2000 bars of soap and 1250 mtrs of plastic sheeting between Christmas and March 2015.

Aid Africa/OHP’s response …..

Emergency food

Thumb print confirms receipt of goods, on our list of families assessed as particularly vulnerable.

Our guys weigh out the maize

Leaving site….

We issued:

25 tonnes of maize,

over 11,000 soya meals

2000 bars of soap….

between Christmas

 and March 2015.

Sanitation …

Privacy & dignity restored to 272 people while

 reducing health risks associated with poor sanitation

The storms destroyed hundreds of toilets—we identified 50 vulnerable families and urgently began to rebuild.

We employed building teams to dig new 3m pits, and surround them with bamboo-framed shelters covered with

plastic sheeting and grass thatching.

These simple shelters should be robust

enough to last several years, or until the pit is full.



Mary and her collapsed toilet


Mary and some of the children she cares for -  and their new toilet!


Namalamba Bridge

Replacement crops

The storms brought down many houses—one of which was Susan’s.  She is AIDS-affected, with a husband with serious mental health issues, 3 small children and a bleak future.  She works hard bringing down firewood from the mountain to sell to try to feed her family, but they’re often hungry.

Susan’s delighted with her new house (with windows!) Built in partnership with  FOMA. Now  her family is safe and secure

for decades to come

Following emergency aid, we’re moving into the longer-term support. One of the most urgent needs is food production—huge quantities of maize were destroyed in the field by the storms and floods. We’ve bought and issued cassava cuttings (over 40,000 plants), vegetable seeds, and seed potatoes as a trial in the Bwanali area.

Extreme flooding from the storms destroyed dirt roads, hampering aid distribution and community rebuilding. Namalamba Bridge collapsed – it served 15 villages (about 7500 people) and had been the main route linking remote villages to tarmac roads and school, Health Clinic, maternity facilities,  and local town for business, food & other basics. In the past, 5 people had lost their lives trying to cross the swollen river.

We were approached by Village Heads, asking if we could help rebuild the 8m bridge. Committed to work in partnership with local communities - not just throw aid - we divided the resources needed—we would supply timber, cement, quarrystone, builders, plus our own motor-trike transport, while the villagers would provide poles, sand, rocks, & labour. One side pillar had partly survived, so we finished it, built its counterpart on the opposite bank, plus the central pillar—all made of granite stones cemented together over a 2m-deep rock foundation— topped with wooden poles & treated timbers.

After meeting with Chiefs good progress was

made until the villagers realised that there wasn’t

enough stone nearby, so with their help, our BUV (yellow vehicle) and new trike joined the project and moved more than 30 tons of rock from the mountain to the bridge site.The bridge was finished in July 2015, with the official Opening Ceremony taking place in August.

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Access restored between 15 remote villages and health, school, business and market facilities

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