Press Statement on the Flooding and Landslide caused by Cyclone Freddy in Malawi


The Chairperson of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa and Country Rapporteur on the promotion of human rights in the Republic of Malawi, Honourable Commissioner Mudford Zacharia Mwandenga, on behalf of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission), is closely following the socio-economic situation in the country.

The Commission has learnt with deep concern and sorrow, the death of more than 200 people in Malawi, caused by a devastating tropical cyclone Freddy which ripped through the country for the second time this month of March 2023, causing extensive damage to infrastructure and homes and as a consequence power and communications in many affected areas has been disrupted. The Commission has also learnt that an estimated 19,000 people have been displaced by the heavy rains that have triggered floods and mudslides.

The Commission commiserates with the leadership and people of the Republic of Malawi, on this devastating event, which has serious impact on the socio-economic livelihoods of the people in the country, especially those from the affected areas. The Commission also wishes to convey its condolences to all those who lost their loved ones by this tragic event.

The Commission commends the efforts of Humanitarian Organisations, including Medical Care Organisations, who have rallied to assist in mitigating the adverse effects of the cyclone and mudslides which have rendered many homeless, increased health hazards, economic losses and decline in fresh water resources. 

The Commission takes this opportunity to renew its commitment to support the efforts of the Republic of Malawi  to safeguard the socio economic rights of its peoples by finding lasting solutions to safe sheltering, healthy environment, sustainable and resilient development for the people in the affected areas of the country;  providing internally displaced persons with food, water, shelter, medical care and other health services; sanitation, education, and any other social services; and calls on all human rights partners and stakeholders to assist Malawi in its quest for critical reforms to improve its technical and institutional capacity, to manage disaster risks resulting from natural and health-related hazards.

The Commission continues to be seized of the situation.

Banjul, 15 March 2023

Commissioner Mudford Zacharia Mwandenga
Chairperson of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa and Commissioner Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Republic of Malawi