arjenvdm Arjen van de Merwe

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Malawi: Deadly Floods Displace Thousands
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
10 Jan 2015

Malawi, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, has seen devastating floods in the southern part of the country. In some areas, a month’s worth of rain came down in 24 hours at the beginning of the rainy season, leaving villages, roads, bridges and fields destroyed. The death toll is estimated to be anywhere between dozens and nearly two-hundred, while 14,000 households are known to be displaced (an estimated 70.000 people). However, some areas have yet to be reached, so these figures are expected to rise.

The government of Malawi has declared fifteen southern districts disaster zones and has appealed for international aid. To British government has already dedicated GBP 3.8 million to help rescue and rebuilding efforts, and many other governments are soon to follow.

The aid operation carried out by the Government of Malawi, the military and a range of international organisations, MSF and UNICEF having a prominent presence among them, is in full speed. The Malawian army is leading the evacuation of affected and vulnerable communities, using boats and helicopters, and improvised camps are being set up with tents and medical facilities. As always after flooding, prevention of waterborne diseases such as cholera is priority.

Bad weather continued to hinder the aid operations until Friday 16 January when the rain ceased. However, rising temperatures made for uncomfortable circumstances in the camps and outside.

The Malawian Police Force is setting up Victim Support Units and Child Protection units in the camps, while the international agencies such as UNICEF and UNFPA provide blankets, tents and food, and also first aid for rape cases and safe delivery kits. MSF is also participating, setting up and operating a mobile health clinic.

Media created

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Malawi Floods 14
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
14 Jan 2015

Sekeni I Camp for flood refugees in Southern Malawi, South of Nchalo, Chikhwawa District.

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Malawi Floods 15
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
14 Jan 2015

Toilet in refugee Camp Sekeni I for flood refugees in Southern Malawi, South of Nchalo, Chikhwawa District.

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Malawi Floods 13
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
14 Jan 2015

Maize porridge (nsima) is lunch at Sekeni I Camp for flood refugees in Southern Malawi, South of Nchalo, Chikhwawa District.

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Malawi Floods 12
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
19 Jan 2015

Ms Jane Mpondo was in hospital when the floods struck, She fled. In the flood victims camp she tested negative for malaria, so she was treated for bacterial infection by doctor Chancy Ndhlovu of Project Heart to Heart. Camp for flood victims at Bangula FP School, Malawi, 2015

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Malawi Floods 11
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
12 Jan 2015

Flood refugees take shelter in the Sekeni I Camp's under five clinic. Patrick Kofi (left) is a Health Surveillance Assistant. He is pictured registering children for immunization while Stella Mafuwa breastfeeds her twins, both called Moses.

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Malawi Floods 10
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
12 Jan 2015

Stella Mafuwa breastfeeds her twins, both called Moses, in the medical clinic for persons under the age of five.

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Malawi Floods 09
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
12 Jan 2015

A vehicle of Medicins sans Frontieres serves as a make shift clinic in Sekeni II Camp for flood refugees in Southern Malawi.

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Malawi Floods 08
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
12 Jan 2015

Maria Manyala feeds her son Paul, in the Sekeni I Camp for flood refugees in South of Nchalo in Malawi's Chikhwawa District. Her house was washed away by floods and rain, her crops destroyed. She has no food for the coming year.

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Malawi Floods 06
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
11 Jan 2015

The Mediramu community evacuation centre was constructed by the Evangelical Association of Malawi and Chikhwawa District Council with support from Christian Aid and the European Commission. Bakabu Kavalo rests for a moment in the community evacuation centre. He is so old he forgot his age, but at Malawi's independence in 1964 he was a young man. The rains are heavier than any rains he has experienced in his life.

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Malawi Floods 07
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
11 Jan 2015

The Mediramu community evacuation centre was constructed by the Evangelical Association of Malawi and Chikhwawa District Council with support from Christian Aid and the European Commission. Mrs. Chrissie Chimuhe is 52 years old. Her house was built on a hill, but it still collapsed. The rains were the worst she ever experienced. She has four children, two of whom are married. The other two live with her in the IDP centre; but at the moment the photo taken, they were in school.

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Malawi Floods 05
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
11 Jan 2015

Fields are flooded and covered in mud due to heavy rains and floods. The crop is lost.

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Malawi Floods 04
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
11 Jan 2015

Buildings and homes have been severely damaged due to the onslaught of rain.

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Malawi Floods 03
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
11 Jan 2015

Fields are flooded and covered in mud due to heavy rains and floods. The crop is lost.

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Malawi Floods 02
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
11 Jan 2015

Fields are flooded and covered in mud due to heavy rains and floods. The crop is lost.

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Malawi Floods 01
Chikwawa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
11 Jan 2015

Fields are flooded and covered in mud due to heavy rains and floods. The crop is lost.

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Life in Malawi 19
Salima, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
07 Feb 2014

Fishing Boats on the Beach of Lake Malawi, Nguwo Village, Senga Bay, Salima, Malawi
A project developer is trying to evict the fishing village for a five star hotel.

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Life in Malawi 18
Blantyre, Southern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
07 Dec 2011

In zingwangwa, the electricity is unreliable so many people cook on charcoal. Cutting trees fro charcoal results in deforestation.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 17
Blantyre, Southern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
07 Dec 2011

At the end of the day, inhabitants of Zingwangwa come home after work, or hustling.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 16
Blantyre, Southern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
26 Nov 2011

Breastfeeding in public is nothing unusual in Zingwangwa, but being photographed during the act might be.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 15
Zingwangwa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
24 Dec 2011

In a dark corner of the indoor market, the rice trader attracts customers by playing local music on his stereo.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 14
Zingwangwa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
07 Dec 2011

Due to a lack of space indoors, exercise is done outdoors in Zingwangwa.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 13
Zingwangwa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
29 Nov 2011

Maize porridge is the staple food in Malawi, but roast maize from a charcoal barbecue is a popular snack too.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 12
Blantyre, Southern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
29 Nov 2011

hairdressers often work outdoors, because indoors it might be hot.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 11
Zingwangwa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
26 Nov 2011

"Bottle Store" is the local name for a bar. Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 10
By Arjen van de Merwe
24 Dec 2011

A shop at night in Zingwangwa, a township of Blantyre.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 9
Blantyre, Southern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
26 Nov 2011

Toys are too expensive for most townships inhabitants in Malawi, so children invent their own games.
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 8
Zingwangwa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
26 Nov 2011

Street Restaurant in Zingwangwa
Zingwangwa is a low to middle income township of Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 7
Zingwangwa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
28 Nov 2011

Zingwangwa, like most townships in Malawi, has a low population density and plenty of trees.

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Life in Malawi 6
Zingwangwa, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
28 Nov 2011

Construction worker taking his equipment home after a days work in Zingwangwa village, southern Malawi.

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Life in Malawi 5
Karonga, Nothern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
16 Dec 2013

Maize Cultivation
At some point the lagoon used for irrigating the fields of the village ran dry. Investigation showed that the forest in the catchment area had been cut down for firewood. Now the forest is maintained, and cutting is made illegal. The water returned and the fields got irrigated again. Sweet potatoes from the field provide a meal for the family.

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Life in Malawi 4
Karonga, Nothern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
16 Dec 2013

African Woman Growing Sweet Potatoes
At some point the lagoon used for irrigating the fields of the village ran dry. Investigation showed that the forest in the catchment area had been cut down for firewood. Now the forest is maintained, and cutting is made illegal. The water returned and the fields got irrigated again. Sweet potatoes from the field provide a meal for the family.

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Life in Malawi 3
Karonga, Nothern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
16 Dec 2013

Sweet Potato Field
At some point the lagoon used for irrigating the fields of the village ran dry. Investigation showed that the forest in the catchment area had been cut down for firewood. Now the forest is maintained, and cutting is made illegal. The water returned and the fields got irrigated again. Sweet potatoes from the field provide a meal for the family.

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Life in Malawi 2
By Arjen van de Merwe
16 Dec 2013

Sweet Potato Cultivation
At some point the lagoon used for irrigating the fields of the village ran dry. Investigation showed that the forest in the catchment area had been cut down for firewood. Now the forest is maintained, and cutting is made illegal. The water returned and the fields got irrigated again. Sweet potatoes from the field provide a meal for the family.

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Life in Malawi 1
Karonga, Nothern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
16 Dec 2013

Cooking Sweet Potatoes
At some point the lagoon used for irrigating the fields of the village ran dry. Investigation showed that the forest in the catchment area had been cut down for firewood. Now the forest is maintained, and cutting is made illegal. The water returned and the fields got irrigated again. Sweet potatoes from the field provide a meal for the family.