Malawians Displaced by Floods Willing to Return Home
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- This week the latest round of IOM's Malawi Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report showed 107,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in 131 open displacement sites across six districts.
The site assessments were performed in Nsanje, Chikwawa, Zomba, Phalombe, Mulanje and Blantyre – the districts worst affected by the flooding which occurred in January.
Published on May 20, in collaboration with the Malawian Department of Disaster Management Affairs, the report indicates that despite the difficulties facing IDPs, 71 per cent of them intend to return to their places of origin to rebuild their lives.
One of the main factors preventing IDPs from returning is the lack of shelter, since their homes were damaged by the floods. They also lost their livelihoods.
“We are working to provide emergency housing and non-food relief items to displaced persons, but broader return, relocation and reconstruction needs must be addressed in a comprehensive and inclusive manner,” said Stephane Trocher, IOM Malawi Chief of Mission.
“The focus on recovery and transition is the best way to address the ongoing displacement in these six districts,” he added.
Following the flooding, the emergency response was initially hampered by a lack of coordinated information on displacement. In response, IOM stepped in to provide the DTM, an information tool designed to help humanitarian agencies to identify and respond to the needs of the displaced.
“DTM has not only been helpful to the humanitarian actors in addressing the emergency and protection needs of affected populations, but it has also helped the most vulnerable beneficiaries receive assistance at various displacement sites,” said IOM project officer Brenda Chimenya.
IOM is carrying out DTM assessments in partnership with Save the Children, Sustainable Rural Community Development and All Hands Volunteers. The DTM is funded by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), the One UN Fund and the UK's Department for International Development (DFID).