Lilongwe, 5th April 2019 – An opinion poll on the mobile-based platform, U-Report Malawi, has revealed that food is the greatest need among people affected by floods. U-Report, which allows young people to share their views through regular opinion polling, currently has 158,894 participants called U-Reporters, from across Malawi.
In early March, heavy rain and flooding swept through parts of Southern Malawi, destroying crops, houses and displacing 86,980 people.
UNICEF and the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) have been sending messages to U-Reporters in the affected districts telling them what to do in case of flooding as well as assessing their needs. The first poll was sent to 67,678 U-Reporters in the 14 districts that experienced flooding. 52% of the 17,126 respondents said that food is their most urgent need with Nsanje registering the greatest need at 63%.
50% said their houses had been completely destroyed while 37% said their homes suffered partial damage. 63% of respondents from Chikwawa said their houses were fully destroyed.
Only 13% of the respondents said they are living in a camp, with 52% still at home and 35% staying with relatives. However, the district-specific data shows fewer people still at home in Nsanje (37%) and Chikwawa (42%) and more people (than the national average) in camps- 31% for Chikwawa and 31% for Nsanje.
On a positive note, the majority of the respondents have access to some key services such as education, safe drinking water, and health. 89% said they have access to safe drinking water and 81% said their children are still going to school.
79% access health care services where they are currently staying- 45% from a nearby health facility, 17% from mobile clinics and 16% from a health surveillance assistant. 51% had no current medical/health problem while 19% indicated malaria, 16% diarrhea and 16% suffered injuries during the floods.
Overall, 59% of the respondents said they had toilets while 39% said they don’t have enough toilets. 80% said they get information/warnings about floods on the radio.
U-Report Malawi is an opinion-based platform. Poll results reflect the views of registered U-Reporters, who may not be representative of the population. For example, they need to own or have access to a mobile phone.