Westhighland Missionary Baptist Church of Alabama in the United States of America has donated assorted relief items worth over K1.5 million to families affected by flush floods in Mzuzu City and Karonga District.
Rev Forrest Moore accompanied by Deacon Joseph Andrew Bunton flew to Malawi to make the donations on behalf of the church last Thursday and Friday.
In April this year, most parts of Malawi’s Northern Region especially Mzuzu and Karonga experienced persistent heavy rainfall which resulted in floods that damaged property and killed seven people after walls of their houses fell on them.
The situation prompted President Peter Mutharika to declare the affected parts as disaster areas effective April 12 and ask for humanitarian relief assistance from well-wishers both local and international.
Rev Moore said he learned about the disaster through Malawi’s online media, particularly Nyasa Times, which he said, he usually follows.
“We were concerned and decided to come and see the situation for ourselves and determine what kind of assistance we can give,” said Rev Moore who also established the Church at Mlowe in Rumphi District in 2003.
After visiting the affected areas of Masasa and Salisbury Lines in Mzuzu, the two missionaries donated assorted items that included bags of flour, blankets, buckets, plates, and roofing plastic sheets to 62 most needy families at Mbawemi and Kawuwa camps.
In Karonga, the missionaries donated bags of maize and mosquito nets, among other items, to 51 most affected families at Kakoma camp.
Before making the donations, the missionaries met with Mzuzu City Council Chief Executive Officer and Karonga District Commissioner plus other officials.
The officials briefed the missionaries on the disaster, action taken by Malawi Government to mitigate effects and plans for preventing further loss in future.
Rev Moore then urged the authorities to come up with programmes that would prevent loss of life and property in future such as construction of wide concrete drainage systems, dykes and relocation of people from flood prone areas.
The District Commissioner for Karonga Rosemary Moyo said there were already long-term plans to construct dykes and relocate people from swampy areas to upper land but the council was yet to source funds.
Rev Moore said his Church was ready to assist in the projects and asked both councils to write proposals to the Church.
“Once you decide on the place you are going to build then we can come in to help so that people can relocate,” Rev Moore said.
Commenting on the donations, Chilanga Ward Councilor Patrick Kishombe, in whose area Kakoma camp is, said he was amazed by the gesture shown by the missionaries.
“The fact that they have travelled all the way from US to see and donate to these displaced people, they have shown that they are generous and compassionate. I am really impressed,” Councilor Kishombe said.
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