He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’— Luke 20:27; Luke 10:35
At least 200 people have been confirmed dead with several others missing after Cyclone Freddy, the longest-lasting storm on record, ripped through Southern Malawi. At its height cyclone Freddy caused flash floods and mudslides that swept homes and in some cases, entire villages. Freddy’s damage left thousands of Malawians with no shelter, food, or sanitation. Freddy also caused severe damage to infrastructure such as roads and bridges, further impacting relief efforts. Several essential buildings such as hospitals and clinics have been flooded with water.
The double blow about the cyclone Freddy caused the spreading of floodwaters exacerbating the ongoing cholera outbreak that has to date killed more than 1,600 people in the past year.
Currently as of 15 March, 2023, the status of the following roads was
Blantyre to Mulanje is passable;
Blantyre to Chiradzulu is not passable;
Blantyre to Zomba: passable;
Chiradzulu to Phalombe: not passable;
Zomba to Phalombe: not passable;
Blantyre to Thyolo: passable;
Thyolo to Mulanje: passable;
Blantyre to Chikwawa: not passable; (and under construction);
Chikwawa to Bangula (Nsanje): not passable;
Mangochi to Monkey Bay: not passable;
Chikwawa to Mwanza: passable (4×4 only)
During a time of tragedy, calamity, and disaster, having one’s president appear at the scene and in a timely manner, eases the pain and suffering. Visiting the affected areas, Malawi leader President Lazarus Chakwera visited the affected areas and later presided over a press conference.
“This is our moment to rise from the ashes, together,” President Chakwera told Malawians.
He informed the nation that Mk 1.6 billion had been dedicated by the central Government as the immediate response to the needs of the survivors of Cyclone Freddy. There are shorty term and long term objectives.
*SHORT TERM OBJECTIVES*
1. Ensure proper and dignifying burial for the deceased and account for any/all missing persons.
2. Ensure that those who are stranded in unsafe areas are brought to safety in different shelters to meet their immediate humanitarian needs.
3. All government actors, non government actors, officials, individuals, and volunteers are pulling in the same direction and implementing one strategy that will make the most of the shared efforts.
4. Secure as much support from international partners and local stakeholders to meet the enormous needs being faced.
*LONG TERM OBJECTIVES*
National rebuilding of various infrastructure such as roads and bridges, buildings and houses, electricity wires among others.
Meanwhile, Raymond Misomali was deployed at the DODMA Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Blantyre to support the response efforts.
Raymond previously headed Emergency Response in Florida for several years before relocating to Malawi in 2014. One of his tasks at the EOC will be to develop and coordinate a donations and volunteer management system.
This tool will be useful when identifying the immediate, interim, and long term needs as well as tracking donations so that hopefully no one is left behind. This information will surely help inform resource allocation all round.
Coming from the Americas and the UK, and other parts of the world, Malawians in the diaspora, have been coming together on the Zoom universe to raise funds to contribute towards the effort to help fellow Malawians that have been devastated by Cyclone Freddy and recent storms in Karonga. They say “there is an urgent need for assistance in the affected areas. We are asking for you to help by making a tax-deductible donations to assist the flood survivors,” the call to action states.
Groups in the UK, US states such as Minnesota, Indians, Dallas, Seattle, New York, New Jersey. Connecticut, Texas, Massachussettes, have collaborated as organizations, individual, or multi-groups networks and are raising funds to add to the effort of mitigating the impact Freddy has made on Malawi.
The diaspora are being encouraged to be compassionate, do the right thing, and make the tax-deductible donations. The contributions will be sent to Malawi.
The contributions aim to help the people receive food, blankets, tents, and other temporary shelters. It will help the communities to rebuild their lives, homes, schools or clinics.
Rescue boats and helicopters are said to also be needed. So far Zambia has relayed it will send two helicopters although it is not known when these will be sent; while most of SADC and AU is quiet unlike when many African countries quickly sent well-equipped rescue teams to Turkey during the recent earthquakes.
On its part, the Malawi Diaspora Network Team that includes networks from Seattle, Minnesota, and Texas advise that they will be sending their donations. They advised the diaspora that all their donations which are *ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE* and they can be made on
Give today and be blessed!