Blantyre Malabada MP Mkumba calls for shelter structures to relieve schools as evacuation centres; As Limbe and Blantyre Rotary Clubs assist Makata camp with relief items

Hands on 

* In times of such disaster, everyone has the responsibility to assist the vulnerable

* We just had to act and support the government in alleviating the trauma that these people have gone through

* We decided to present the items to the beneficiaries directly in order to also appreciate the challenges people are facing

By Duncan Mlanjira

Rotary Clubs of Limbe and Blantyre on Saturday distributed various relief packages for homeless survivors of flash floods caused by effects of Cyclone Freddy who are camped at Makata Primary School in Ndirande, Blantyre.


The items, that included food stuff, blankets and utensils, were presented to the beneficiaries directly in the presence of Member of Parliament for the area (Blantyre Malabada), Ismail Rizzq Mkumba and Ward Councilor.

In his remarks, the organizing secretary for the project, past president Eric Chimkanda applauded his fellow Rotarians for their contributions as well as support from other donors, saying in times of such calamity, everyone has the responsibility to assist the vulnerable.

“We just had to act and support the government in alleviating the trauma that these people have gone through,” he said. “We appreciate the warm welcome which the Honourable MP and the Councillor accorded us.

“We decided to present the items to the beneficiaries directly in order to also appreciate the challenges people are facing here as well as the impact of the disaster.”

Chimkanda further said the Rotary Club Limbe and Blantyre will continue to distribute more relief items in several other affected areas in the Southern Region.

One of the Rotarians, Benedicto Bena Nkhoma, said the gravity of the disaster was such unprecedented, thus they just had to come in and assist.

“It’s so satisfying that we have all joined hands in solidarity to assist those affected by this calamity — May the good Lord bless all who are contributing their hard-earned resources for the good cause.

On Wednesday, Nkhoma also made a personal donation of assorted items worth K2 million to assist flood survivors in Soche — that are camped at Kapeni Demonstration School rescue centre — where they were 4,162 survivors, of which 491 were children.

Nkhoma at Kapeni School last Wednesday 

Nkhoma was so deeply touched to find some 15 children in a state of shock and despair as their parents were still missing.

Nkhoma said: “One of the children, a 15-year-old girl, said her mother was swept away last Sunday because of running waters from Soche Hill — leaving behind a two-year-old child who she is now nursing.”

Meanwhile, when receiving the items, Ndirande Malabada MP, Mkumba — while encouraging other other wellwishers to emulate the gesture by the two Clubs — called for shelter structures to relieve schools that are being used as evacuation camps.

“We cannot keep them here forever because the School needs to go back to normal business,” he said. “Of course, the suspension of classes has been extended but these survivors need temporary shelter elsewhere.


“They have lost their homes, places of business and for them to rebuild their livelihood, won’t be easy — thus we can’t just let them evacuate without an alternative shelter.”

On Saturday, the Ministry of Education announced that following consultations with all district and education division managers, the one-week temporary suspension of primary and secondary school classes is further extending up to March 31st in the Cyclone Freddy most affected education districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mulanje, Phalombe, Blantyre Rural, Blantyre Urban, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Mwanza, Neno, Zomba Rural and Zomba Urban.

“Classes will resume on April 17 when Term 3 commences,” said the statement. “The rapid assessment of schools that the Ministry of Education has conducted in the affected districts shows that most structures such as classrooms and toilets are unsafe and hence, need certification before children can be brought to school.

“While other infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and support services need maintenance or restoration for learners to safely access schools.

“Furthermore, as of Friday, March 17th, about 230 schools were being used as holding camps for internally displaced communities.”

Relief camp at a school in Nguludi

The Ministry further announced that all learners sitting for national and international examinations will return to school on March 27th, to start the preparations while the rest of the classes in primary and secondary school will write their end of Term 2 examinations in the first week of Term 3.

“In this period, the Ministry will continue to work with District Councils, development partners and other stakeholders to mobilize support to meet the immediate minimum needs of the schools for safe reopening.”

To ensure continuation of learning, the Ministry has put in place the following:

a. Learner targeted radio lessons to resume on air from Monday 20th March 2023, from 08:00hrs to 16:30hrs, for both primary and

Secondary school throughout the period including during the Easter holiday. The radio lesson broadcast schedule for Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Radio 1 & 2 is attached and can also be downloaded from the Ministry’s website:

b. Online lessons available on the following links: (both primary and secondary) and (secondary).

c. Carefully designed learner-centred secondary school learning materials can be accessed online on the Ministry of Education website above.

Immediate requirements for resumption of classes include: temporary classrooms, toilets, textbooks and scholastic materials such as movable chalkboards, chalk, dusters, notebooks, gadgets to support digital learning, e.g., radios and tablets.

“The Ministry is calling upon development partners, community leaders, parents, guardians and all stakeholders to support the recovery process of learners to access the radio lessons and the digital learning materials available.”