Since the publication of the ACAPS Malawi Floods Briefing Note on 12 March, severe flooding has continued in southern and central regions of Malawi. In total, an estimated 922,900 people have been affected across 14 districts, with 56 deaths and 577 injuries reported and more than 125,000 displaced. The number of people reported as being affected by flooding has increased by more than 450,000 since the last ACAPS report. This trend can likely be attributed in part to the impact of Cyclone Idai, which has exacerbated rainfall across Malawi, and potentially to new information becoming available. Response gaps include shelter, food, health, and WASH. There is an elevated risk that rain linked to Tropical Cyclone Idai will persist in southern and central regions of Malawi, which will likely continue to drive humanitarian needs in flood-affected areas.
Heavy rains over 5-8 March caused flooding in the Southern region of Malawi. As of 10 March, at least 14 districts have been impacted, affecting approximately 468,650 people and displacing more than 31,700 people. At least 30 people have been killed and over 370 injured. Assessments are ongoing. On 8 March, the president declared a state of disaster in the areas affected by ongoing rain and flooding. Priority needs are shelter, WASH, food, livelihood and health assistance.
Outbreaks of Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, have been reported in DRC, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Ghana and Kenya. Regionally, around 330,000 hectares of staple crops, especially maize, have been affected. The remaining southern African mainland countries remain at high risk. The severity of the impact on regional crop production is yet to be established. The damages caused by the infestation depend on the stage at which the pest attacked the plant. Crops that were infested during the early stages of crop development, in late December, had to be replanted, while those infested later in their growth seem to have recovered without intervention.
Update: The further spread of Fall Armyworm was observed in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe in March. Damage from existing outbreaks was also sustained in Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia. While further outbreaks are expected only in northern Tanzania in the coming months, all countries are advised to continue monitoring diligently and to apply appropriate preventative measures. Although the Fall Armyworm season is expected to end in June, long-term impacts are expected for affected countries, and neighbouring countries should also remain diligent.