The impact of storm Ana on water in Mozambique, Malawi and Madagascar

Posted by
Sarah Kershaw
on
25 January 2022
In
Individuals, Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, Climate change, Water, Disasters
 A destroyed house in Mozambique - WaterAid Archive
Image: WaterAid/ Mario Macilau

New York, NY, January 25, 2022 – WaterAid is concerned about the damage tropical storm Ana is causing in parts of southern Africa, as ongoing heavy rains have already forced tens of thousands of people from their homes and flooding is likely to contaminate water sources.

In Madagascar, at least 34 people have reportedly been killed. In Mozambique, two deaths were reported, and the government of Malawi has reported one death and thirty people injured following heavy rains which led to flooding and collapsed houses. People had to flee to churches and schools as their homes were impacted. Parts of the country have been without power since Monday evening.

We have not seen the full scale of the impact yet, but with flooding like this, water sources often get contaminated, which can lead to diseases. People who had to flee their homes have limited access to clean water, sanitation and means of hygiene as well, so it’s vital these services are provided or restored as soon as possible. It will prevent people from falling ill. It's essential the crisis is not allowed to escalate following the floods.

With climate change likely to cause more erratic rains and flooding, it’s important to build water, sanitation and hygiene [WASH] facilities in a way that can withstand the dire impacts of the climate crisis for years to come.
Adam Garley, WaterAid's Country Director - Mozambique

Mercy Masoo, WaterAid’s country director in Malawi, said:

“There has been widespread damage to roads and houses, mainly in the southern part of the country. We are ready to support the Department of Disaster Management Affairs in addressing the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) challenges in the affected areas.”

“We are yet to get the full extent of the damage; this will become known in the coming days. We should be ready to identify possible areas of support once we get a full picture.”

In Mozambique, WaterAid is standing by to support local efforts in affected areas based on ongoing needs assessments. WaterAid is present in Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi, and is working in close coordination with governments to provide climate resilient access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Statistics

  • 771 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.
  • Two billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.
  • Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's around 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes. 
  • Every $2 invested in water and toilets returns an average of $8 in increased productivity.
  • $50 can help run a handwashing campaign to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

WaterAid is an international nonprofit working in 30+ countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 28.1 million people with clean water and 28.8 million people with decent toilets. We won't stop until everyone, everywhere has clean water. 

ENDS

 

Further resources