Mozambique and Malawi disaster management heads have called upon their displaced citizens living in camps to co-exist and lend a helping hand to one another.
About 2500 households fled Mozambique following Tropical storm ANA-induced floods and sought refuge at some camps in Nsanje District, which are also hosting 8303 displaced Malawian households.
Speaking in Nsanje District on Thursday (24th February, 2022) when she visited Nyamithuthu, Mnembe and Bangula camps which are hosting about 1600 Mozambican households, President of the Institute for Disaster Management in the Republic of Mozambique, Luisa Celma Meque said the displaced, irrespective of their nationality, are one people and need to live in harmony.
“Amongst this crowd, I cannot tell who is a Malawian or a Mozambican, we all look the same and no one can differentiate unless they are told,” said Meque.
She said when her government received reports that its citizens were displaced and sought refuge in nearby camps in Malawi, they thought it wise to pay a visit.
“The Malawian Government has not been discriminatory; they have been providing relief assistance to the citizens of the two countries. We have brought some relief items, which will be distributed to everyone in the camps irrespective of their nationality,” said Meque, whose Government has provided 60 tons of relief items which include rice, soap, maize flour, cooking oil, tinned fish, sugar, tarpaulins, salt and assorted clothes.
She then called upon displaced Mozambicans to return home and rebuild their lives when circumstances normalise.
Her counterpart, Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba echoed Meque’s remarks saying the Mozambicans and Malawians are just separated by artificial boundaries.
“We all converged in camps for one reason, that is, being affected by Tropical Storm ANA and we cannot afford to live in disunity. Let the spirit of oneness and Ubuntu prevail in these camps. Let us not allow flooding waters to defeat our unity.
“Living in camps is not the best of options because our rights and needs are mostly not met when we live in camps and since we have been affected by disasters for a long time, we need to start to think about relocating to higher grounds to mitigate being hit perennially by disasters. That is the only bold step we can take to resilience,” said Kalemba.
The two disaster management authorities have since agreed to work together in implementing various disaster risk management programmes.