Housing is supposed to be a permanent investment. In most cases, people build their houses once and concentrate on other life activities such as advancing their businesses, educating their children, and if resources allow build more houses. However, with climate change, house construction proves to be a high-risk venture due to the prevalence of natural hazards exacerbating in disaster. Malawians across the country have had to rethink the way they construct housing due to the frequency of cyclones, storms and heavy rains which have continued to wreak havoc in the country since 2015.

In the face of uncertainties, safe house construction has been a much timely risk management tool which Malawians in southern Malawi now look to rely on. IOM through its partners is offering sensitisations towards building back better after the cyclone Freddy’s destruction. The process of rebuilding itself takes an exceptionally long time, requires patience, and resources to ensure that the new structures are disaster resilient.

For this reason, IOM has supported 2,500 affected families with material to construct transitional shelters. The purpose of this was to provide a temporary solution for people that can go back to their place of origin, or that need relocation.

67-Year-Old Rhoda Kamwendo from Kachulu in T/A Mwambo is one of the 2,500 beneficiaries who was supported with Shelter and NFIs under the TC Freddy response project with Habitat for Humanity Malawi. After Narrating her ordeal, she went on to explain how the project has supported her. “A friend is a person who is there for you always, I have seen a friend with the support that IOM has given me. When the floods came, I was destitute, but now I can proudly wear a smile on my face knowing that I have a place to go back to after I carry out peace works during the day. When we stayed within the Camp, our lives came to a standstill. We had nowhere to go. The rains have been very devastating, we have lost crops, livestock, and our houses.”

While it will take more than Shelter support provided to build back Rhoda`s life, she continues to remain grateful for IOM’s support and hopes that this is the beginning of a journey that will lead her towards rebuilding her life.