In early March 2019, almost half of Malawi was hit by torrential rains, both leading up to and resulting from Cyclone Idai, which caused devastating flooding across substantial parts of the central and southern regions of the country. Life in the parts of Malawi devasted by Cyclone Idai is slowly getting back to some sort of normality, but more still needs to be done to make sure the good work that God started through his people, continues in the near future.
SIM Malawi has been working with the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) in four camps in the Chikhwawa District of Southern Malawi since Cyclone Idai crashed into the east coast of Mozambique and cut a path of destruction that swept through parts of Malawi.
Aid from SIM Malawi/EAM was distributed to hundreds of displaced households in the camps, helping 4,034 people in total. The distributions concentrated on the most vulnerable groups, such as nursing mothers, the elderly and orphans.
"There is no doubt that the impact of getting this aid has been a great boost to the morale of the people who have lost everything," said Violet Katsonya, who led the EAM distribution teams.
However, getting people back to their villages and to some level of normality is now the main focus of the work for SIM Malawi and EAM.
In addition to food aid, people received maize seeds and gardening implements to help them to plant winter-cropping maize, which should be ready for harvest soon. Once this is harvested, villagers should have enough maize to feed their family until the next main harvest in 2020, and they may have excess which they will be able to sell.
For people who are not able to grow winter maize, long-term food aid will be required, possibly until March or April of 2020, when their next maize crop will be ready for harvest.
So, while life returns to normality for some, for many there is still the need for help to get them through the months until they can feed themselves from their own grown resources.
A more permanent solution also needs to be found to people returning to their villages, who put up temporary structures to replace the houses they lost to the floods and SIM is hoping to work with the people in the villages to assist in providing them with materials to build more permanent homes.
For wisdom, grace and resilence for SIM workers helping people settle back into ther villages.
For enough materials to build more permanent homes.
That the Lord will bring hope to all who have suffered in the midst of Cyclone Idai.