The Government of Malawi, in fulfilling its mandate of protecting the lives of vulnerable women, men, boys, girls as well as people living with disabilities, persons living with albinism, refugees and the elderly during disasters; in reducing their exposure to risk through preparedness, led the development of the 2021-2022 National Contingency Plan (NCP). The contingency plan has been developed to establish operational procedures for response to specific hazards based on risks identified by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs through the Coordination cluster based on seasonal weather forecast released by the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) and other emerging context-based criteria.
The contingency planning process used an Inter-agency approach which created an opportunity for government and its partners to anticipate and plan for disasters through a participatory process. This is done with the aim of minimizing damage to property and loss of life, and for timely, gender- responsive and coordinated humanitarian assistance which responds to different needs and priorities of women, men, boys and girls who have been affected by a disaster. This is especially important in Malawi given the gendered impacts of climate change and anticipated effects of La Nina over the next year.
The 2021/2022 NCP is based on five prioritized anticipated hazards: floods; dry spells; disease outbreak; pest infestation; strong winds/stormy rains. All hazards considered within the contingency plan have three scenarios through which planning assumptions were developed. These are the best-case scenario, moderate scenario and the worstcase scenario. After analysis of each scenario, the most likely scenario, ‘the moderate scenario’ for each hazard was identified and planned for at national level.
In summary, based on a strong likelihood of occurrence, the 2021-2022 planning assumptions envision the following:
Flooding will occur because of heavy rainfall but over a longer period cumulatively affecting between 15,000 and 30,000 households (75,000 - 150,000 people), with up to 21,000 households requiring relief assistance for a period of up to 3 months and 10, 000 households displaced
Prolonged localized dry spells will result in between 50,000 to 250,000 households requiring food assistance over a 3-month period
There will be extensive disease outbreaks. Between 1,000 and 5,000 men, women, boys and girls of different age groups are likely to be affected by Cholera and other disease outbreaks such as eye infections, skin conditions and Malaria
Moderate and localized strong winds will cause considerate damage to infrastructure, crops and trees affecting between 5,000 and 12,000 households, requiring only temporary assistance.
Pest infestations such as Fall Army Worm will be experienced over large parts of the country with 80,000 to 120,000 farming families affected.