Malawi will most likely miss this year’s 5.8% economic growth forecast after weeks of heavy rain killed scores of people and washed away the country’s staple crop, President Peter Mutharika said.
“Preliminary assessment shows that the damage caused by the flood disaster to the economy is estimated at $54m, excluding the cost of the relief programme currently underway,” he said. More than 8 billion kwacha worth of maize, rice, groundnuts and cotton was lost in the flooding in the country primarily dependent on agriculture, Mutharika said in his state of the nation speech. About 3.6 billion kwacha would be needed for replanting some of the 63 500 hectares of submerged land, he said.
More than 60 people have been killed in the floods and 153 others are missing and presumed dead. Some 174 000 people are displaced after their homes were destroyed, the leader said. Mutharika said US$ 81m were needed to address the needs of the 638 000 people affected by the floods that have also damaged more than 230 schools.