Madise presents the donation to DoDMA’s director Peter Chimangeni
* It’s not a lot of money but it’s what we can afford at the current period
* We are hoping that our affiliates can also contribute — including individuals like myself
* The survivors are suffering — I had the chance to visit Mulanje and it was disheartening to witness what they are going through
By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi National Council of Sports Board chairperson, Sunduzwayo Madise has appealed to the public to contribute towards alleviating plight of Cyclone Freddy flood disaster survivors, saying the magnitude of their suffering is unprecedented.
He said this on Monday after presenting a K5 million cheque to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) in the office of the President & Cabinet to go towards assisting the flash flood disaster survivors in the Southern Region.
Madise took note that their contribution “is not much but felt the need that whatever little can be of significance”, adding that they “felt it was obligatory on our part to help”.
“It’s not a lot of money but it’s what we can afford at the current period,” he said. “We are hoping that our affiliates can also contribute — including individuals like myself.
“The survivors are suffering — I had the chance to visit Mulanje and it was disheartening to witness what they are going through. Let’s all contribute with any little we can afford to alleviate the suffering they are going through.”
On Sunday, golfers at Blantyre Sports Club — trending as Chip Inn Masters — engaged the Malawi Red Cross Society to reach out to survivors camped at at Montfort Demonstration Primary School in the compound of Catholic University in Nguludi in Chiradzulu District, an area which was not spared of disaster but little is known about it.
The Chip Inn Masters was formed a camaraderie grouping that was enhanced further by initiating an annual charity drive — through which they identify a project they can assist every year.
Soon after Cyclone Freddy struck, they swiftly mobilized funds that totaled K2 million to assist survivors of the flash floods that devastated the Southern Region.
And having noted that concentration of alleviating the plight of survivors is for Blantyre City, more especially Chilobwe and Ndirande — where many lives were lost and houses were washed away — the Chip Inn Masters engaged the Malawi Red Cross Society, which identified Nguludi.
The grouping’s Master-in-Charge, Nestor Msowoya said they first wished to present the cheque to the Malawi Red Cross Society but they changed their mind and decided to assist the Society by procuring the food supplies themselves and distribute directly.
“We were so taken aback when the Malawi Red Cross Society appraised us of the gravity of destruction in Nguludi and we decided to assist them by alleviating the burden of procuring the food supplies and transporting it to Nguludi,” Msowoya said.
“We bought the specially packaged food supplies that included maize flour, rice, cooking oil, sugar, salt, soya pieces amongst others. One Chip Inn Master, Grant Mwenechanya provided his lorry to ease the Malawi Red Cross Society’s transportation costs.
“We just wanted to visit the area and assess the challenges that are being faced here [at evacuation camp that was set up at Montfort Demonstration Primary School in the compound of Catholic University].
“Our membership consists of business executives from various corporate companies and personal businesses and what we have analysed here, they might decide to impress on their management teams to assist in the areas we have not been able to.”
Msowoya works for Illovo Sugar Malawi Plc, which has already reached out to survivors at its Nchalo Estate, Chilobwe, Ndirande, Lunzu and Machinjiri.
“It’s sad that these people here in Chiradzulu are already vulnerable and to be affected like this is a tragedy we all are supposed to come in and support the government to alleviate their most immediate basic needs,” he said.
The evacuation camp’s leader, Grace Filipo said at first they had over 200 people, some of whom their houses didn’t immediately collapsed but just evacuated for safety’s sake.
Some returned to the homesteads but are going back to the camp as their houses continued to collapse further — thus she appealed for more assistance such as provision of water buckets, kitchen utensils as well as plastic sheeting to elect temporary toilets.
The name Chip Inn Masters derived from the last spot where after finishing all 18 holes, they sit down at a specially constructed refreshment bar — the 19th hole — where they analyze their scores and wait for others to finish their rounds before identifying the champion of the day.
After four months, the best player over that period earns the title Master-in-Charge, who coordinates a charity project they need to focus on at the end of the year and Cyclone Freddy effects was one that they swiftly decided to assist.
Meanwhile, Electricity Generation Company (EGENCO) donated K10 million worth of assorted relief items to DoDMA of food and non-food items which include maize flour, Likuni phala, vaseline, toilet paper and soya pieces, among others.
A report on DoDMA Facebook page quoted Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Engineer Alfonso Chikuni as saying it was of paramount importance that companies, organisations and individuals of goodwill join hands in responding to President Lazarus Chakwera’s call for assistance.
EGENCO Chief Executive Officer, William Liabunya said the situation is dire and efforts being made by companies in reaching out to the affected people are a huge relief to the country.
In another post by DoDMA indicates that President Chakwera will be conducting a number of bilateral meetings in the next two days with various international partners who have already started helping the country to provide support to disaster-stricken people.
The President is quoted as saying: “I met, in the morning, Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Stergomena Lawrence Tax. Through her I have expressed profound gratitude to the Government of Tanzania for providing two helicopters that already assisting with relief efforts in all the disaster affected areas.
“I have also gladly learnt from her that 30 truck loads of food items will be on the road to Malawi to help our efforts. The minister has also assured me of further support from the Tanzanian government. Thank you, President Samia Suluhu Hassan and people of Tanzania for this kind gesture.”