Andrew's Story

At the start of 2024, heavy rainfall in Malawi led to severe flooding across the country, destroying homes and livelihoods. As a result, thousands were forced to leave their homes.

Escaping the Flood

Andrew is a 33-year-old mechanic. He lost his whole livelihood when the severe flooding submerged his business, washing away the walls of his garage. The heavy rainfall resulted in almost 12,000 people being displaced in central Malawi. The ShelterBox team interviewed Andrew during the assessment stage of the response. At this stage, he had not received any aid.

“At around 8am we saw a huge amount of water from the river. Then we managed to escape, the people here managed to escape and go the higher places,” he said.

The flooding happened during the day when many people were at work. This meant that many families were separated by the floods, and people were unable to return home. Houses were destroyed or severely damaged by the flood waters. The floods also destroyed crops, roads and bridges.

On the day of the floods, Andrew escaped to higher ground with others as the water rose. It wasn’t until the water receded four days later that they were able to see the damage to the surrounding houses, businesses, and church.

“We didn’t see the damage at first, we could only see water. Like what happened in 2019, because this isn’t the first time, it happened in 2019 when the water came from this river, but it was not as huge as this year, this is the biggest I’ve ever seen,” he explained.

When talking about his current circumstances he said: “I built it (my business) in 2018, in just five years, I have lost everything. As I am speaking now, I don’t have anything that I have invested, I am starting again. Which is a big problem to me, I’m growing but my investment has gone. It’s not only me, but a lot of people are also the same.”

“For me, I had 11 guys, who I was paying every month, I was supporting the government with job opportunities. But as of now I have lost them, they are here, but cannot work because my garage has gone. What we need is help, to make sure this problem does not happen again.”

ShelterBox is responding in Malawi.

ShelterBox is responding in Malawi. Learn more about how you can help.

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