THE EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF MALAWI STATEMENT ON OCCURRENCE
OF FLOODS IN MALAWI
Saturday, 9th March 2019
We, the Catholic Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, an umbrella body of the Catholic Bishops in Malawi, wish to join Government and the people of Malawi in mourning for the loss of the 23 lives due to the devastating floods in many parts of the country.
We further sympathize and call for support for the thousands that are injured, missing, displaced and rendered homeless following the devastating floods that have hit most parts of the central and southern Malawi.
According to a report we have received from our relief and development arm, CADECOM, the affected Districts include: Nsanje, Chikwawa, Zomba, Mulanje, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Phalombe, Blantyre, Neno, Mwanza, Dedza, Balaka, and Mangochi.
The situation follows a statement on severe weather warning over Malawi from 5th to 7th March 2019 issued by the Department of Climate change and Meteorological Services under the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining which forecasted heavy rains accompanied by strong winds as a result of deep low pressure area in the Mozambique
While initial assessments are underway to determine the extent of damage to
property and livestock, we join the nation in mourning the deaths of our brothers and sisters
in the wake of these devastating floods. This is indeed a National tragedy. Our hearts are
heavy to lose human life in such devastating circumstances. We are in the middle of crisis, an
emergency that should be of everyone’s concern and priority in responding to the needs of
the affected populations.
We commend the Head of State for quickly declaring this a National Disaster in his Press
Release dated 8th March 2019.
We hope and pray that this declaration will pour in a lot of
good will and support from our donor partners thereby treating this disaster seriously and as a
matter of urgency.
This is about human life. It is about human dignity. It is about human
rights. It is about the very reason we exist as a Church, standing for those in need.
As a Conference of Bishops, we are deeply concerned as an institution, which works mainly
with the rural communities that the most affected are the poor Malawians, some of whom
were already struggling to meet their basic needs.
While we struggle together to respond to
the disaster which has befallen us, we join the Head of State in appealing to all Catholics and
people of goodwill, donor agencies and our international development partners to spare
whatever we can to support our brothers and sisters who are trapped in this catastrophic
Finally, we appeal to our relief and development arm, CADECOM, the Government of
Malawi’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs, and other humanitarian stakeholders
to continue conducting assessments on the ground to determine the extent of damage and
respond to the immediate needs of the affected populations.
We will continue to join hands and pray to God in solidarity for the safety and protection of
the affected families. May the souls of our brothers and sisters who have died due to floods,
all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!
Most Reverend Thomas Msusa Chairman and Archbishop of Blantyre
Right Reverend Martin Mtumbuka Vice-Chairman and Bishop of Karonga
Most Reverend Tarsizio Ziyaye Archbishop of Lilongwe
Right Reverend Peter Musikuwa Bishop of Chikwawa
Right Reverend Montfort Stima Bishop of Mangochi
Right Reverend George Tambala
Bishop of Zomba
Right Reverend John Ryan Bishop of Mzuzu
Very Reverend John Chithonje Diocesan Administrator of Dedza