Residents of Zomba and Phalombe who were displaced by torrential rains and the resultant floods two weeks ago managed to wear happy faces when members of the Pakistan Welfare Association (PWA) donated relief items worth K22 million to a total of 800 families in the two districts.
In Zomba, the association reached out to communities in Group Villages Chaweza and Kathebwe in Zomba as well as Chimombo, Phutheya and Malambwe villages in Phalombe.
Presenting an assortment of food, utensils, blankets, cash and clothes to 400 flood victims at Chaweza Primary School in Zomba, the association’s vice chairman Ali Akbar Kamdar explained that the gesture in in line with their spirit of helping those in need.
“The basic thing is that we all are Malawians, we all are brothers. Our third generation is born here. So, Malawi is our home. This is not our second home anymore, this is our first home. So, when this disaster hit, we thought there is a time we should come out and help our fellow Malawians. But this is not only for the disaster, during the hold month of Ramadhan, we have been doing the same,” he said.
Kamdar noted that the need to assist is born out of a desire to help fellow countrymen in their time of need.
“Like I said, we all are Malawians, we all are brothers. We feel for them, we feel for this communities. We feel for them because our bread and butter is here, our kids are born here. We also urge people that we should do what we can do to help our brothers and sisters,” he said.
The Pakistan Welfare Association was created three years ago by Malawians of Pakistan origin and, according to Kamdar, the funds for the relief items were sourced from the association’s members both in Malawi as well as friends outside the country.
“We urge people to donate but also come in the field to see for themselves because that way, one feels a sense of self-fulfillment,” he said.
Kamdar said they chose Zomba and Phalombe after realising that the two areas seemed neglected from the areas that had been affected by the flooding.
“We have done our survey and we realized that some places such as these have been neglected. We want to go where other organisations have not gone. We identified this area after we heard that no one came here to support the communities,” he said.
Luwiza Matembwe, an 80-year-old great-grandmother from Mwaliwa Village whose house fell with the rains, was visibly at a loss of words to describe her joy at the relief items she had received.
“All my belongings went with the rain which suddenly came in the night so we had no time to rescue anything. So, this donation will at least give me a starting point because right now, I am at point zero,” she said.
She explained that apart from her house, her livestock as we as well as crops in her garden were washed away by the ravaging floods.
On his part, Group Village Chaweza said the devastation in his area was gross.
He explained that the damage was caused by the flooding Phalombe River, further stating that he has not seen such devastation since his birth.
Chaweza appealed for more relief items such as tents to enable the flood victims to return to their homes to try and start all over again.
“The camp is not a place to live because, like you can see, this is a school and it does not have the functionalities to handle such volumes of people. Beyond that, it is inhuman because we have to move the people out in the morning to enable the lessons to take place,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :