Survivors of Cyclone Ana in Nsanje are at highest risk of developing waterborne diseases, a February 8, 2022, an assessment by the United Nations (UN) has indicated.
UN Representative Rudolf Schwenk visited the survivors at Admarc camp in Nsanje where a population of 14, 525 people are sharing four pit latrines and one source of water.
The stench that welcomes visitors from the latrines and the presence of human faeces at the camp speak volumes about the need for additional sanitation facilities as a matter of urgency.
Speaking during the tour, Schwenk said the flood victims’ needs are enormous, but he was happy that the preparedness, which the UN, together with the Government of Malawi, has made is paying off.
“We are able to use the money and resources which we planned for disasters. Sanitation is the immediate need after a disaster. Especially when there is flooding because the water supply gets affected and people do not have access to clean water which leads to the risk of water-borne disease. That is why we have to make sure that there are water purification efforts. We have shipped buckets and other materials from our Blantyre and Lilongwe warehouses to help in hygiene and we will set up a water supply,” he said.
The Malawi UN Representative disclosed that his organization is getting coordination support from Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (CHA) and the Department of Disaster Management (DODMA) in setting up emergency operation centres and expects to receive 3 million dollars from the Central Indulgence Response (CIR).
“The boats from the United Nations saved lives and there has been a quick distribution of water, food and sanitation materials like buckets for hand washing. Before the visit we did not have enough information. We thought that the extent of the damage was not so high. We thought about 200,000 was the number for those affected by the floods instead of the real figure which is 870,000 in the currently registered 125 camps similar to Cyclone IDAI victims,” said Schwenk.
A Mozambican woman, who lost everything to cyclone Ana and is seeking refuge at the Bangula Admarc camp, Nesta Wilson, said having been given blankets, clothes, basic house construction materials, food and money to start a business, she can go back to her home country because she left some of her children.
“Water has been a big problem since we got to the camp as water could stop for so many hours. We do not have buckets to keep water for future use. The situation has been forcing us to buy water from the nearby boreholes. We cannot stay without water because water is life,” said Wilson.
Area Civil Protection Committee (ACPC) chairperson Isaac Falakeza said water has been a big problem at the camp though well-wishers donated a water source, which requires the aid of electricity for the water to get pumped into the water storage tank.
Unfortunately, Falakeza stated, electricity has also been a problem due to the damage caused by the floods.
“The flood victims need a lot because a disaster doesn’t allow a person to think of taking anything along. They have more water sources, food, blankets and kitchen utensils the most, to the extent that those who do have to wait for those who have them to use for cooking and serving food. This place accommodates 4, 116 within the school-age group, 956 Mozambican households out of the total of 3, 105 households seeking relief at the camp,” Falakeza.
With the same tour UN via its daughter organization responsible for addressing children’s emergency needs, United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF), made donation of teaching and learning materials at Sekeni Primary School and medical equipment plus nutritional supplements at Berewu Health facility respectively in Chikwawa district which are also Cyclone Ana victims.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :