The funeral ceremony in Chilobwe
* As Chakwera leads Malawians in paying last respects to 21 people who died in Chilobwe from effects of the cyclone
* While appealing to international community to help survivors with shelter, food and clothes
* He underscored the need to enforce existing by-laws that could help to avert the future catastrophic incidents
By Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express & Memory Chatonda, MANA
The Department of Climate Change & Meteorological Services confirmed this morning at 10:00hrs in its final update that the Tropical Cyclone Freddy — that wreaked havoc throughout the Southern Region, dissipated on Wednesday, March 15.
But though the cyclone is gone, the Met Department says “the country is expected to continue receiving rains which will be heavy mainly along lakeshore areas due to the influence of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) coupled with Congo air mass”.
“The expected rains over lakeshore areas are likely to trigger flash floods, therefore, the public is urged to take all the necessary precautionary measures such as avoiding crossing flooded or fast- flowing waters.
“The public is further advised to pay attention to the available daily weather updates from the department to be safe from any weather related threats.”
The Department further says it will continue to monitor the South-west Indian Ocean, and any potential development of a cyclone will be shared accordingly.
And for further information, the public is advised to contact:
The Director; Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services; P.O. Box 1808; Blantyre
Tel:( 265) 882 266 579
WhatsApp: +265 995 155 050
Meanwhile, the government is being joined by its development partners and well-wishing partners corporates with relief packages for Cyclone Freddy victims across the Southern Region.
Soon after his return from Doha, Qatar where he was attending United Nations least developed countries conference, President Lazarus Chakwera led Malawians in paying last respects to 21 people who died in Chilobwe following the devastating effects of the Cyclone Freddy.
The 21 are among 225 people who have died since the onset of Freddy on Friday last week and in his eulogy at Naotcha Primary School in Blantyre, President Chakwera described the incident as a national tragedy.
“When I passed coffin by coffin, I could not hold my tears,” says Chakwera, who then called for government departments, local and international organisations to come to alleviate the sufferings of the Tropical Cyclone Freddy survivors.
“Right now, Malawi is in a state of disaster and my government is appealing to international community to help the survivors with shelter, food and clothes.
“Even those who feel they can donate a little something to the affected neighbours, please do so”.
Chakwera then underscored the need to enforce existing by-laws that could help to avert the future catastrophic incidents.
Blantyre District Commissioner, Alex Mdooko announced that recent statistics indicate that Cyclone Freddy has so far affected and displaced 10,954 people in the district currently living in camps.
He said currently the district is receiving relief items from different organisations and government inclusive to meet the survivors’ basic needs.
The president also visited people affected by the cyclone in Manja, Ndirande and Nyambadwe camps in Blantyre.
In Blantyre district alone, statistics indicate that almost 98 people have died and out of which, 85 are from Chilobwe Township.—Pictures by Abel Ikiloni, MANA