Habitat for Humanity Malawi (HFHM) in partnership with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with funding from Government of Japan, successfully completed the construction Disaster Resilient Houses in Zomba and Phalombe. The main aim of the project was to support human security through safe and dignified access to climate-resilient housing for affected communities in Malawi displaced by floods from Cyclone Idai. The project was implemented in two districts of Zomba and Phalombe. The project was implemented in the four communities in the two districts of Zomba and Phalombe. In Phalombe, the project was implemented in Traditional Authorities Kaduya and Mkhumba while in Zomba the project was implemented in Chikowi and Malemia.
Through this partnership, the project constructed 200 flood-resilient houses for the most vulnerable flood-affected communities in Zomba and Phalombe districts and also constructed two community markets and four community water points. The project also strengthened the capacity of district and national authorities, private sector firms and communities to apply techniques from the Safer Housing Construction Guidelines (SHCG) including training on inclusive disaster recovery through climate- and weather-resilient housing targeting the most vulnerable, that includes; women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
During the project period (1st July 2020 to 31st July, 2021), the project constructed 200 houses and Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines. The houses directly benefited 200 most vulnerable flood affected families with 963 people. Out of these people, 392 or 41 percent are males and 572 or 59 percent are females. These direct beneficiaries included 707 or 73 percent children (below 18 years) while 52 or 5 percent were elderly (60 years and above). Out of the people benefiting from the project, 86 or 9 percent were persons with disabilities. These persons with disabilities had difficulties or problems in one or all of the following areas; seeing, hearing, walking/climbing, speaking, intellectual, self-care and other difficulties. Out of the 86 persons with disabilities, 11 percent had difficulty in seeing, 9 percent had difficulty in hearing and speaking, 42 percent had difficulty in walking/climbing, 20 percent had other difficulties.
In its approach to assist the affected communities to recover quickly from the effects and build back better, the project adopted the recovery strategies recommended by the Post Disaster Needs Assessment Report (2019) which include dissemination of the safer construction guidelines, training of the artisans in Safer Housing Construction Guidelines (SHCG) among others. The project trained 900 artisans in SHCG as well as disseminated safer construction guidelines through production and dissemination of Build Back Better and Safer Brochures and project sign posts elected in various targeted communities.
The project also constructed two community markets (one in each district) to ensure continued availability of livelihood sources and connectivity and access to markets. The project also drilled four boreholes (one in each targeted community) to support flood affected community avoid prolonged unavailability of water resulted in many people, mainly women and girls, being required to spend greater time fetching water, thereby reducing the time for other economic activities.
The project had also successfully completed the implementation of other project activities such as supporting all project beneficiaries with knowledge with land and property rights issues, Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMPs), Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and many others. Regardless of the progress made in the project period, the project experienced challenges such as impact of COVID-19, slow supply of construction materials and works on the market by the contractors.