Zambesi Mission

 2019 News Stories
March 2019
Flood Update


"Be pleased, O Lord to save me; O Lord, come quickly to help me"
(Psalm 40:13)

Malawi and northern Mozambique have once more been affected by disaster. Following four days of torrential rain earlier this month, raging flood waters have inflicted widespread destruction. The Government of Malawi stated: "As of Tuesday, 12th March: 56 deaths & 577 injuries have been recorded. 3 people are missing. 184,589 households (approximately 922,945 people) have been affected & 16,545 households (approximately 82,725 people) have been displaced". There is now mounting concern that, just days after this tragic event, another storm (Tropical Cyclone Idai) is about to hit the same beleaguered part of southern Malawi and northern Mozambique.

UPDATE 22.3.19

We have just had an update from Simon Chikwana, zm's Field Director in Malawi. He says the situation is very bad, worse than the flooding at the start of 2016. Very few parts of Central and Southern Malawi have been spared. The impact on houses is severe. In one church alone, Chiradzulu ZEC, 150 houses have been destroyed. Simon's own words were that “the number of houses lost is uncountable”. And still the rains are falling, with the pattern being typically two days of rain followed by two days of dry weather. The forecast is saying that there will be very heavy rains in the next few days in the north of Malawi. Simon is getting an accurate figure of all churches affected and will then try to prioritise how to help. The tragic thing is that Malawians rely on their crops. The maize harvest was nearly ready, yet the recent rain has effectively flattened many fields. This means that the maize becomes and remains sodden for an extended period and then germinates before there is an opportunity to gather it in. Simon's estimate is that many farmers will only be able to harvest a small proportion of what they were expecting. This means that the impact will be felt for at least a year, since the next harvest will not come until the spring of 2020


UPDATE 16.3.19

We had heard that a new storm (Tropical cyclone Idai) was approaching and expected to affect Mozambique and move towards southern Malawi today. However, it has not impacted Malawi directly, but passed instead through Mozambique into Zimbabwe. We can't say that we are thankful for this, as it has simply created widespread destruction elsewhere.

zm's Field Director Simon Chikwana gave the following update earlier today - "the latest storm has not affected Malawi, but instead Mozambique and Zimbabwe. I was with the General Secretary for ZEC in Mozambique yesterday. He said nationally 110 have been killed. There is no report yet on any members of the church, but 5000 houses, 8 schools and 7 hospitals have collapsed in Mozambique. This report was as of Thursday evening; Eight ZEC churches have collapsed. One in the east and seven in the west. He did not have specifics on the houses of members. He is expecting that from pastors shortly. As for Malawi the effects have just been heavy rains in Chikwawa and Nsanje and the Northern Region. However, the heavy rains has pounced on already bruised households. The number of houses lost from last storm is overwhelming".

Please join us in prayer for all those affected. Please contact us or at if you would like to donate towards the mission's relief efforts amongst our church partners.

Desperate conditions
Some people in the UK or America argue that Climate Change doesn't really exist: but the reality for the people of Malawi and Mozambique is that they are facing more and more extreme weather events every year.  The consequences are severe - affecting not only crops and livelihoods, but also the fabric of the homes that they live in.  Poverty means that their houses are often less secure than we might consider normal, which makes them doubly vulnerable to storms like these.  Deforestation (which is in itself poverty-related) means that flash flooding has become much more serious in recent times.

Destroyed communications
Relief efforts have been hampered by damage to the roads leading to the worst affected areas. zm's Field Director Simon Chikwana told us that the "Government is now trying to repair the roads to Chikwawa, Phalombe, Mulanje and Chiradzulu". Once movement is permitted again, Simon will visit our partners whose churches were affected by the storms and flooding. He is trying to discern the immediate needs in terms of food, kitchen utensils, temporary shelter plastic, water, sanitation, clothes and blankets. Once we have this information we will know precisely how to intervene.

Urgent help
On Tuesday 12th March zm's Executive Committee authorised initial expenditure of £10,000. We will be continuously monitoring the situation.We do not yet know the full impact on our partners and their churches, but we have already heard that many peoples' houses have collapsed, including pastors' houses.

Please get in touch with us here
if you would like to help financially. Or you can give via the website.


Thank you

~ to everyone who has already given to support the mission's small but significant relief efforts, as we seek to help the most vulnerable in our partners' churches.

Please do pray

~ for the government's wider relief efforts;

~ for everyone who has been affected and particularly for those whose houses have been badly damaged or swept away;

~ for protection from the further storms that are forecasted.


 2019 News Stories

Zambesi Mission is a registered charity in England & Wales (1165004) and in Scotland ( SCO46748)