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News release

Climate change making life worse in Malawi; citizens demand more action from all stakeholders

7 Feb 2023 Malawi
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News release
Key findings
  • Almost three in every four Malawians (74%) say they have heard of climate change (Figure 1).
  • Awareness of climate change is higher among urbanites (87%) and men (79%) than among rural residents (72%) and women (69%) (Figure 2). More educated citizens are more likely to be aware of climate change than those with less education.
  • Almost nine in every 10 (86%) say it is making life in Malawi “somewhat worse” (14%) or “much worse” (72%) (Figure 3).
  • Eight in 10 (82%) believe that ordinary citizens can help curb climate change, while close to three in four (73%) want the government to take immediate action to limit climate change, even if it is expensive, causes job losses, or takes a toll on the economy (Figure 4).

A majority of Malawians say climate change is making life in the country worse and requires urgent government action, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows.

About three-fourths of Malawians say they have heard of climate change, though awareness is somewhat lower among women and less educated respondents.

Among those who have heard of climate change, a majority see addressing it as a collective responsibility, and they want greater engagement on the issue by business and industry, developed nations, and ordinary citizens as well as the government.

Taking into consideration that the Malawi economy is dependent on agriculture, which contributes about one-third of gross domestic product and about 80% of export revenue, the country is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change.