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Cyclone Freddy Causes Devastation For Malawian Farm Families

Earlier this week, southern Malawi was devastated by Cyclone Freddy, the longest and most energetic tropical storm ever recorded.
Climate resilience

After inundating Madagascar and Mozambique since mid-February, Freddy changed course and struck Malawi, causing severe flooding, landslides, and wind damage before dissipating on Wednesday. In just four days, at least 324 Malawians were killed and over 180,000 displaced (source: ReliefWeb). 

One Acre Fund serves 95,000 farm families living in the affected areas of Malawi. Although we do not yet know the full extent of crop and soil damage, initial reports are sobering. Smallholders are highly vulnerable to extreme weather, and most of our clients were in the midst of preparing their fields for April harvesting when the cyclone struck.

The damage wreaked by Cyclone Freddy also comes just as farmers like Khadijah were recovering from Cyclone Ana, which ripped through Southern Malawi in January 2022. More than 220,000 farmers' fields and crops were destroyed.

Hear from Khadijah as she describes her experience of Cyclone Ana.

Watch Impact of Cyclone Ana on Farmers in Malawi on YouTube.

We are now seeking $1M in new funds to help us provide swift support to our affected Malawian clients, staff, and their communities through the following activities:

  • Carry out measurement and evaluation to understand the extent of damage to clients' farms and livelihoods.
  • Use assessments to inform an effective response strategy - potentially including: 
    • Mass distribution of drying tarps, a simple intervention that can prevent rotting of flooded harvests.
    • A second distribution of inputs later this year, equipping farmers to replant crops such as beans and maize to support food security.  
  • Support to our staff and their families in affected areas, helping to ensure they are safe and connecting them to community resources. 
  • Coordinate with peer organizations to restore damaged infrastructure (e.g. bridges), to enable continued flow of inputs and supplies to farmers.

This campaign is no longer live, but you can still make a donation to our wider work.

100% of funds received through this campaign will go towards immediately supporting hardest-hit Malawian farmers through the above activities. 

Climate crises like this are only going to increase

The increased frequency and severity of catastrophic weather events - like cyclones such as Ana and Freddy - is a direct result of climate change.

That's why one of our priorities as an organisation is to help smallholders build greater climate resilience. Not only is this an operational imperative for us, but also an issue of climate justice – Africa’s farmers are least responsible for climate change, yet are among the most acutely affected by it. In addition to short-term relief when disasters like Cyclone Freddy strike, we will continue providing long-term support to farm families across Malawi - and all countries we work in - to help them build their resilience. 

Support farmers to build their climate resilience

Your donation will help us continue our work building the climate resilience of smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa.

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A Malawian farmer sits with her notebook during a training session on carbon credits