The Government of Botswana on Friday, (29th March, 2019) donated assorted relief items to their Malawi counterparts, for people affected by the March 2019 floods.
A plane from the Botswana Defence Force arrived at Chileka Airport in Blantyre, at 11.55 am, carrying one tonne of corned beef, ten tonnes of children’s food supplements, four tonnes of beef and 500 blankets.
Botswana High Commissioner to Malawi His Excellency Lt. Gen. Louis Matshwenyego (retired), said the donation signifies the brotherly relationship that exists between the two countries.
“The People of Malawi are our brothers. The relationship between the two countries dates back to a long time ago. We cannot sit and shut our eyes and forget our brotherly relationship in this trying moment,” said Matshwenyego.
In his remarks, Principal Secretary and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Wilson Moleni, expressed gratitude to the Government of Botswana.
“President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika made an appeal for donations when he declared state of national disaster in areas affected by disasters, on 8th March.
“The Government of Botswana has showcased brotherhood. The donation will address some of the challenges we are experiencing in camps. Government and partners have been providing relief assistance to the affected people but the need is overwhelming,” said Moleni.
The Government of Botswana will provide seven more tonnes of relief supplies in due course.
The Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) on Thursday, 28th March, 2019, donated clothes valued at K12 million to 1,173 families affected by the March 2019 floods.
Speaking during a symbolic presentation of the donation, DAPP Malawi Country Director Lisbeth Thomsen said her organization, which has been implementing agricultural, health, educational and community development programmes for over two decades in the country, thought of a special way to assist the affected people.
“We decided that our way of supporting the affected should be dressing them. We have 1,173 family packs each containing 50 pieces comprising ladies,’ men’s and children’s wear.
“We know that the donation will not reach everybody but this is our way of showing that we really care. We are also engaging our long time partners to see if they can assist us with other donations and we will continue working with DoDMA [Department of Disaster Management Affairs] to reach out to as many affected people as possible,” said Thomsen.
DoDMA’s Director of Response and Recovery Harris Kachale, described the donation as timely.
“The affected people lost a lot of their property, including clothes. This is a special donation,” said Kachale.
A group of medical students from United States of America’s Union College International Rescue and Relief have donated medical supplies worth K3 million towards flood disaster response operations.
The students made the donation on Wednesday, 27th March; 2019, after the end of their practical studies in which they provided medical assistance to over one thousand people in Thyolo, Nsanje and Phalombe Districts, in a space of six days.
“We felt that we could make a difference with the donation,” said Andrew Saunders, a representative of the College.
In his remarks, Department of Disaster Management Affairs’ Director of Response and Recovery Harris Kachale commended the students for the donation.
“The donation will go a long way towards assisting people who need medical assistance in the districts affected by the floods.
The students joined response teams from the Malawi and South African Defence Forces who are providing medical assistance to people affected by recent floods which left 60 people dead.
As of Tuesday, 12th March, 2019, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has recorded 56 deaths and 577 injuries. Three people have been reported missing.
A total of 184,589 households (approximately 922,945 people) have been affected and 16,545 households (approximately 82, 725 people) have been displaced. Most of the displaced families are living in camps. So far, a total of 187 camps have been established in the affected districts.
Assessments to establish the extent of damage in all the 14 affected districts are still underway.
The department continues to provide and coordinate search and rescue operations as well as the provision of relief assistance to the affected people.
Due to the flooding of many areas in the Lower Shire, it is becoming a nightmare to reach most of the affected communities by roads.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs, in collaboration with the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and various humanitarian partners, is working tirelessly to reach out to all affected people with relief items and social services, at all costs.
Choppers are being used in the Lower Shire to ferry relief items in hard-to-reach areas, as well as ferrying the sick from hard to reach areas for medical attention in nearby health facilities, as shown in some of the photos captured yesterday in Nsanje District.