Malawians living in Kenya donate to Cyclone Freddy victims

Association of Malawi in Kenya (AMAKE) — who swiftly mobilized funds to procure relief items to survivors of Cyclone Freddy-induced flash floods in rural community members of Chilaweni in Blantyre Rural — have once more reached out less assisted affected people at Mkando in Chiradzulu.

As soon as the magnitude of disaster was announced, AMAKE procured a relief package of 50 bags (10kgs each) of maize flour and 500 blankets to survivors in Chilaweni after noting that attention by corporates, stakeholders and other development partners was focused on visible areas of Blantyre City and the Lower Shire — which were hard hit by flash floods caused by effects of Freddy.

The survivors at Chilaweni totalled 497 then but rising, who were accommodated at community based organisation (CBO) centre managed by traditional leaders.

Kumpumula handing over the consignment to camp leaders

This time around, AMAKE has assisted over 311 affected households accommodated at three camps of the Anglican Church (95), Thuchira Seventh Day Adventist Church (67) and Chingoli Primary School grounds (149).

Acting on behalf of AMAKE, Mwayi Kumpumula — who lived in Kenya for 10 years working for Unilever — presented 500 blankets, 500 zitenje, 180 bags of 10kgs of maize flour and and 180 of 5kgs each, 100 packets of sugar, salt, sanitary pads for school pupils and assorted kids clothes.

They were presented on Friday to camp leaders under the supervision of village headman Haji, who applauded AMAKE for their gesture, saying they continue facing challenges since most of the survivors also had their crops washed away.

Village Headman Haji making his vote of thanks speech

“These people need every basic daily needs as some also lost their source of income and when you come like this, we the traditional leaders are very grateful.

“We ask you to convey our heartfelt thanks to our fellow Malawians in Kenya for thinking of us in these trying times and God should bless them abundantly,” the chief said.

Kumpumula explained to some of the gathered survivors that they just had to come in and assist having learnt that Mkando also had many affected people

He took the opportunity to offer some spiritual comfort, saying they should not just despair from the misfortune that befell them but build some strength from it to rebuild their lives.

Mkando and Mulanje commuters on the Robert Mugabe Highway are also heavily after as the Thuchira River bridge was compromised. Minibuses wait for passengers at each end of the bridge for commuters to cross over the bridge and reconnect with those on each side.

The devastating effects of Freddy led to the declaration of a state of disaster in Blantyre City and District, Chikwawa District, Chiradzulu District, Mulanje District, Mwanza District, Neno District, Nsanje District, Thyolo District, Phalombe District and Zomba City and District by President Lazarus Chakwera on March 13.

A consolidated assessment report from Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) indicates that the number of deaths recorded was 679 spread across 6 districts with 511 people reported as missing and 2,178 people were injured during the disasters.

Various critical infrastructure were affected disrupting service provision to the affected areas and the nation, at large and that several buildings, roads and other infrastructure were heavily damaged.

Rivers were full of debris, to the extent that the Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) had to shut down all generators on the Shire River, thereby causing national wide blackouts.

The highest reported impact was in the agriculture sector where a total of 2,267,458 (1,110,639 male, 1,156,819 female) people, translating to 523,564 households lost their crops and livestock.

The second highest recorded impact was food-security with 901,466 households being food insecure while in terms of shelter, 882,989 households had their houses either partially or completely damaged.

From the population with completely damaged houses, 659,278 people were rendered homeless and sought refuge in 747 camps. Zomba district had the highest number of camps at 219, whereas Mulanje district had the highest displaced population at 131,830 spread across 128 camps.

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