Malawi President Peter Mutharika said on Tuesday that the country’s growth in 2015 will fall short of the 5.8 percent projected at the beginning of the year because of the damage massive floods have caused to the country’s farming industry.
“The recent floods have caused a lot of damage and will bring many negative socio-economic effects to the Malawian economy,” Mutharika said in a State of the Nation address, broadcast from the capital, Lilongwe.
“The growth for the country is largely driven by the agriculture, manufacturing, electricity, water and mining sectors, among others,” he noted.
“These have been adversely affected by the floods, to the extent that the country is likely to achieve economic growth lower than the 5.8 percent projected earlier for 2015,” said Mutharika.
The annual tobacco crop is the largest export earner for Malawi, which relies on international aid for 40 percent of its budget. Agriculture, mining, electricity provision and water supplies have been severely disrupted by the floods, Mutharika said.
A total of 415 schools have been affected, with 234 having been damaged and 181 being used as relocation sites for the displaced.
Mutharika noted that nearly 200,000 students were unable to attend school as a result of the crisis.
He added that most health centers in flood-prone areas had been damaged or lacked the personnel and supplies to cope with the needs of displaced populations.