This document introduces reference data on local building cultures and local sociocultural resilient strategies in Malawi. These references are to be considered as a basis for the elaboration of project-specific strategies and also as a grid of analysis with a first set of conclusions. Context and details will differ from one place to another and stakeholders will benefit from the collected data in order to make comprehensive and accurate decisions. This Shelter response profile aims at providing a basic understanding of the context and the relevant key issues for shelter-related operations, especially to support humanitarian projects through making the best use of existing good practices offered by Local Building Cultures (LBCs) and Building Back Better/Safer activities promoted by emergency and development responders.
This document details several key issues in the shelter situation and housing policy in Malawi including widespread informal housing, a lack of access to housing finance, structural safety concerns, unsafe working conditions for builders, lack of indoor plumbing and waste disposal, among others. However, the report also finds that LBCs offer a wide variety of solutions to existing challenges, especially against climate-related hazards. The strengths of local construction and practices, including a variety of hazard-resistant practices, knowledge and experience developed by local communities, have been identified, analysed and many of them validated over the years, and are here summarized and disseminated.