By Melanie Hughes of ShelterBox:

I’ve just returned from Malawi, with a team from the international disaster relief charity ShelterBox. The flooding and mudslides caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy have scarred the hillsides, where enormous car sized rocks destroyed everything in their path. Whole homes have been consumed, washed away or severely damaged, and many of those still standing aren’t habitable or structurally safe.

A field of rocks in Malawi

That’s why ShelterBox will be providing thousands of people with emergency shelter and other essential items to help them return home once the floods have subsided, with local partners and groups.

The cyclone, which could be the longest-lasting and most powerful on record, claimed lives, homes, and livelihoods. More than 650,000 people have been displaced and are now living in crowded rooms, camps, schools, and community centres. The lack of adequate shelter and mosquito nets are leaving people exposed to malaria, which is already a high risk, and the spread of water-borne diseases is a growing concern.

More rock damage. Whole homes have been consumed by the mudslides, washed away. Those still standing aren’t habitable or structurally safe.jpg

The aid we’re providing might not seem much, but it will help people, families, and communities start their road to recovery. People will be able to use the tarpaulins, shelter kits, and timber to construct a shelter that offers protection from the elements and provides privacy. Kitchen sets, blankets, mosquito nets, solar lights, sleeping mats, and water filters will give people, who fled unable to take any belongings with them, the essential resources they need to help protect their families. 

Shelterbox team assess the damage

To find out more about the work of ShelterBox across the world, visit shelterbox.org.