FAO, Malawi to Protect Farmers from Severe Flooding
story highlights

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) is working with the Government of Malawi on a US$16 million plan to protect farmers from severe flooding, which has destroyed fields and homes, washed away animals and crops, and is threatening food security in the affected areas, including with disease outbreaks that could affect surviving livestock.

fao-malawi28 January 2015: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) is working with the Government of Malawi on a US$16 million plan to protect farmers from severe flooding, which has destroyed fields and homes, washed away animals and crops, and is threatening food security in the affected areas, including with disease outbreaks that could affect surviving livestock.

According to FAO, the Government response plan aims to help farmers to plant and harvest food during the agricultural season, and supply farmers with short-cycle varieties of maize, rice, sweet potato, cowpeas, vegetable seeds and cassava cuttings for replanting, to ensure some fields and crops are ready by June and mitigate the need for long-term humanitarian programmes. New livestock and restoration of irrigation facilities before the dry season are also required. Long-term watershed management infrastructures will help ensure that intense flooding causes less damage in the future.

FAO notes that while Malawi is regularly affected by droughts and floods, this year heavy rains came ahead of schedule, with greater impacts, including “bursting the banks” along the Shire and Ruo Rivers. FAO cites the impacts of the floods on populations and their livelihoods, as well as the disruption of access to food, sanitation, drinking water, medication and health services, and the education system. Heavy seasonal rains also caused flooding in Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, affecting 742,500 people in the four countries.

More broadly, FAO, the Government of Malawi and other partners are collaborating to build more resilient livelihoods and reduce exposure to risks, such as floods and dry spells. In 2014, FAO, with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP), piloted an approach to building resilience, which integrates nutrition education, climate-smart agricultural practices and disaster risk reduction (DRR). [UN Press Release] [FAO Press Release] [UNISDR Press Release]

related posts