JTI has launched a Disaster Response Plan targeting flood victims in tobacco growing communities with an initial assistance of K100 million. The assistance targets JTI’s contract growers and their communities.
This year’s floods—described by local and international relief agencies as the worst in the country’s history—left hundreds of people dead or missing and destroyed homes and crops. Two months after the disaster, thousands of Malawians still live in camps where rehabilitation and resettlement is expected to be prolonged.
Moved by the plight of those affected and in response, JTI both at the local and international level deployed various types of interventions to support the country. At the international level through the JTI Foundation and employee contributions in Switzerland and Germany, JTI made contributions to a relief agency called ShelterBox to support over 200 families in Chikwawa District.
The local initiative by JTI and Malawi employees contributions will directly benefit 630 households in six Southern Malawi districts of Mangochi, Machinga, Zomba, Chiradzulu, Phalombe and Mulanje.
JTI Leaf Malawi Managing Director Fries Vanneste said the JTI Flood Disaster Response Plan shows our commitment to work in partnership with growers who we are contracted with directly. “Contractual relationships allow for each player to share problems and develop jointly solutions that bring about win – win solutions” said Vanneste.
“JTI’s flood disaster response plan will specifically address challenges that our growers and their communities are facing in the aftermath of incessant rains and flash-flooding. Due to the annual nature of flooding in Malawi, our response aims to offer both short-term and long-term solutions. The short-term solutions aim to address the immediate needs of growers affected, while the long-term approaches hinge on sustainable agriculture practices that if adhered to will help grower communities mitigate the effects of climate change such as flooding,” said Vanneste.
During the launch, JTI Leaf Malawi Limited employees donated assorted items ranging from food to clothes, blankets and other domestic items. The total valuation of the contribution form JTI both at a local and international level is valued at K100 million.