Floods in Malawi

flooded fields at Orant irrigation club

After a long wait and frightening drought, the rains in Malawi started at last. Our community planted crops: soya beans, groundnuts, and maize. We felt hopeful for this growing season. Our irrigation club farmers expected their crops to be ready by February. 

Then the floods came. Tropical Storm Ana blew from Madagascar through Mozambique and to Malawi. The Bua, Kasangadzi, and Khokholo rivers rose and spread.

“We weren’t that worried about the late rains,” says Koletta Nicholus from Buza Village. “Our irrigation club had grown enough food. We were sure to harvest enough to eat and sell. But now our hope is lost. Our maize won’t properly mature. We will be forced to sell maize at a cheaper price. We fear it might be washed away completely.”

In some fields, only a few stalks remain standing. The floods hit three of Orant’s irrigation clubs: Chigona, Madzimayera, and Mantchedza.

“On Monday, I walked to our irrigation field,” says Nyumeri Chiudzu from Madzimayera Irrigation Club. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. All the tomatoes we had grown, immersed in water. Part of our maize field, washed away.” 

The floods haven’t only affected Orant’s operations area, but also much of Malawi’s southern region. The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services has since issued a warning. They expect floods, the downing of trees and power lines, and structural damage. They encourage people to higher grounds and avoid crossing flooded rivers and streams.

As of now, Orant is waiting to assess damages. We plan to replant in February or March. 

To help those in Malawi now at risk of food shortage, click here. All donations will directly support local farmers and irrigation clubs affected by devastating floods. Every bit makes a difference.

The Orant Journal