The PDNA presents a comprehensive report that assesses the cumulative impacts of Tropical Cyclone Freddy on Malawi and its vulnerable populations. In early March 2023, Malawi experienced one of the worst tropical cyclones on record. Tropical Cyclone Freddy developed in the Western Indian Ocean and moved eastwards, influencing torrential rains over the southern part of Malawi. Following the heavy rains, multiple flood events were reported in Blantyre, Mulanje, and Thyolo districts on March 12, 2023. On March 13, 2023, flash floods led to multiple debris flows and other landslides in Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, and Phalombe districts. Tropical Cyclone Freddy hit Malawi as the country was facing one of the worst cholera outbreaks in recent history, as well as high food insecurity at the peak of the lean season.
This report emphasizes the importance of building back better by incorporating climate resilience into recovery efforts to reduce future disaster risks. It concludes with a discussion of recommendations for recovery and reconstruction efforts in Malawi, including:
- Strengthen the organizational, technical, institutional, and financing arrangements for disaster risk management (DRM) in the country.
- Enhance disaster risk knowledge to allow for effective disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction activities, across sectors
- Risk information should also guide land use and development planning processes as well informing design standards and approaches to infrastructure resilience across sectors.
- Develop and strengthen the early warning systems for multiple hazards to inform effective decision-making and early actions.
- Establish building regulations for resilience and construct new infrastructure that can withstand climate shocks and stressors
- Integrate respect for the environment in resilience building.
- Strengthening Stakeholder Coordination and Collaboration
- Ensure resilient lifeline infrastructure and critical service provision.
- Be dynamic and continuously adapt.
- Integrate recovery and development planning.