On the onset of the Cyclone Freddy, many affected women lacked support for construction of temporary shelters. Lack of access to shelter material proved to be a barrier which resulted in protection issues for the women. IOM with support from CERF under the TC Freddy response project took a task of bridging the gap to provide much needed shelter assistance to these women as one of the marginalised groups targeted for the TC Freddy project.

For people who lost everything to the cyclone, IOM’s distribution centred around the provision of decent support in form of materials for Shelter, unconditional cash for purchasing poles, and nails, and NFI packages which included blankets, mats, and solar lanterns. IOM also capacitated the IDPs with Emergency Shelter Construction trainings to equip them with adequate knowledge for the construction.

In order for this initiative to bear full functionality and results with the welfare of the IDPs in mind, with funding from CERF, IOM in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Malawi is implementing the TC Freddy response project under which 1700 affected people from Zomba and Nsanje received Emergency Shelter, and NFIs for construction of these shelters.

Angaomwewa Gayanda is a 53-year-old woman from Kachulu camp, Likapa Village, TA Mwambo. She is among the 1700 beneficiaries who were targeted to receive shelter support in Zomba through the Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Malawi in collaboration with IOM with funding from CERF. Angaomwewa who lives with her kids was affected by the cyclone where she lost her house, and crops. Angaomwewa, like many other IDPs at Kachulu Camp lived close to Lake Chirwa, where they farmed rice and carried out fish smoking business as part of their livelihood support activities. Angaomwewa felt that the support received from HFH and IOM has allowed her to begin restoring her life. “I lost everything overnight, in that moment all I could think of is saving my life. After the cyclone happened, I constructed a shelter our of grass, but this was not enough. When I was shortlisted as a beneficiary on this project, I realised that this was an opportunity to get my life back to near normalcy. I am thankful to IOM and have used all the resources they provided to build myself this shelter.”

Angaomwewa added that the temporary shelter will help her focus on building her permanent housing. However, she noted that this will be difficult as she has no farm produce to sell and support her family. She calls for support towards building back her livelihood and fully restoring her live in a new area of origin which the government will allocate to her. She highlighted the importance of counselling cyclone Freddy survivors because most of them cannot sleep at night as they still get flash backs of the awful experience.