Press releases

Press release: ShelterBox sends a team to Malawi floods in the wake of Cyclone Idai

ShelterBox is preparing to send a team to Malawi, after floods hit the south of the country in early March.

18 March 2019

Man and woman talking in Malawi

Press release – 18 March 2018

Disaster relief charity ShelterBox is preparing to send a team to Malawi, after floods hit the south of the country in early March. Conditions have worsened under heavy rains from Cyclone Idai, which made landfall in south-east Africa on 14 March.

Floods have forced at least 80,000 Malawians from their homes. (OCHA, 14 March).

The team will assess damage to homes and work to understand what support families will need for recovery as the floodwaters recede.

ShelterBox has been closely monitoring the impact of the flooding and cyclone across the region, which has also affected Mozambique, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

Dave Raybould, ShelterBox Operations Team Lead, said: ‘There is a large-scale humanitarian response underway in Mozambique, involving major disaster relief agencies and aid imported before the cyclone hit. As this desperate situation rightly hits the headlines, there are tens of thousands of families in Malawi who also need support to recover.

‘Unfortunately, ShelterBox doesn’t have the resources to help everyone, so we need to make best use of the teams and aid items we have available. As with every disaster, we use our response criteria to make sure we help vulnerable families to begin to recover, often those overlooked by others.

‘We will know more once the team have arrived – we expect the support may include emergency shelter kits for families who have lost their homes, water filters to help protect them from increased risk of water-borne diseases, and mosquito nets.

‘Right now, we are talking to local partners to get a better idea of the situation on the ground. Our operations and logistics teams are making sure we have the people and aid items in place, ready to help families as soon as the flood levels go down.’

ShelterBox previously responded to floods in southern Malawi in 2015, working closely with local Rotary clubs to support affected families.


A weather system that formed on 4 March has caused widespread flooding in south-eastern Africa, affecting southern Malawi, Madagascar and Mozambique.

On 8 March 2019, the President of Malawi declared a State of Disaster, which included a call to international organisations to help the government to provide relief to affected Malawians.

Estimates are that almost 1 million people had been affected and at least 80,000 had been forced from their homes in Malawi (OCHA, 14 March).

After tracking into the Madagascar channel, the same weather system returned to south-east Africa on the night of 14-15 March as Cyclone Idai, causing further devastation in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Contact the ShelterBox Media Team