Chimunthu Banda takes German relief aid to flood survivors of Nkhotakota islands

* After realising that some flood survivors are still on the island, I started contacting well-wishers and various organisations

* Government will offer more support and address other challenges that people are facing in the areas

By Innocent Chunga & Wongani Mkandawire, MANA

Former Speaker in the National Assembly, Henry Chimunthu Banda on Saturday took humanitarian support from Germany, through the Malawi-Hilfe Schwindegg organization, to assist flood survivors at Chauma Island and Kachere Beach in the area of Senior Chief Kanyenda.


Speaking at Chauma Primary School on the Island, Chimunthu Banda — who is Parliamentarian for Nkhotakota North Constituency — assured people that he will continue supporting them with necessary aid.

He said government will offer more support and address other challenges that people are facing in the areas, saying President Lazarus Chakwera is aware of what they are facing.

Chimunthu Banda, who spent over an hour on Lake Malawi to reach out to the affected people said, hundreds of people were affected but some are still in disaster-prone areas which prompted him to carry out the distribution exercise.

“After realising that some flood survivors are still on the island, I started contacting well-wishers and various organisations to source food and non-food items to assist them,” he said.

County Director & Project Manager for Malawi-Hilfe Schwindegg, Deosi Kumcheza assured the flood survivors in the area of the organisation’s commitment to ensure that all people affected by the recent flash floods receive the required assistance from the organisation, government and other partners.

Village Headman Semion Kanyenda, described the support as timely, calling on well-wishers as well as the government to pump in more support for the survivors.

Chimunthu Banda distributed food and non-food items including maize flour, soya pieces, salt, soap, cooking oil, and peanut butter to the flood survivors.

Last week, when Chimunthu Banda distributed assorted food and non-food items to people who are in relief camps in his constituency, he observed that some of those affected were operating large businesses and lost their asset capital — thus he suggested that the government should consider such people through initiatives such as the provision of loans through the National Economic and Employment Fund (NEEF).

Chimunthu Banda offering relief items

“Some flood survivors at Dwangwa were operating large businesses such as garages, restaurants, lodges and bars, which have been damaged and the government should consider them because they have lost millions of kwachas,” said the former Speaker and Cabinet Minister.

Meanwhile, Nkhotakota District Council has called for more help towards survivors of the flash floods that hit the district in the past weeks — killing six and displacing over 14,000 people.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), the Council’s acting disaster risk management cfficer, George Zibophe said they are waiting for the inter-agency assessment report which was carried out last week to provide the final status in terms of impacts and needs.

Hard hit Dwangwa

Roads impassable to deliver food relief

Zibophe said people in camps still need continued help to ease their stay in the camps, saying: “Efforts to provide assistance to the affected population in camps are ongoing as there are a lot of pressing needs.”

He appealed for assistance with urgent needs for maize flour and its accompanying food relish, sugar, cooking oil, shelter materials like family tents, plastic sheets, hygiene items like soap and reusable sanitary pads amongst others.

The district has so far set up 12 camps in various areas of traditional authorities Mphonde, Malengachanzi and Kanyenda in Dwangwa area, which was hit the hardest by the floods.

In the past weeks, government and various development partners such as Red Cross, Embassy of Iceland, Umunthu plus, Members of Parliament and private citizens have sent different types of assistance to the affected people.

A preliminary report from the Council indicated that a total of 9,378 people were sheltered in the camps with 4,121 males and 5,257 females and 1,972 under five children.