* As a truly Malawian company, we felt obliged to play our part in contributing to the relief efforts
* Our heartfelt condolences to families who had lost their loved one in the disaster
* We wish those injured quick recovery and those displaced a quick rehabilitation
Malawi’s pioneer mobile network and ICT services provider, TNM Plc, has donated K20 million worth of relief items to Malawi Red Cross Society to assist with relief efforts for victims and survivors of the Tropical Cyclone Freddy that wreaked havoc in the Southern Region.
TNM said they felt duty bound to assist following the effects of the cyclone that claimed many lives, injuries and loss of property and at the handover ceremony, the company’s acting Chief Executive Officer, Lloyd Gowera said the donation underscores TNM’s commitment to respond to the disaster and ease the pain and suffering of the affected communities.
“Following the occurrences of Tropical Cyclone Freddy, we have witnessed devastating conditions of the victims in the affected areas,” he said. “As a truly Malawian company, we felt obliged to play our part in contributing to the relief efforts and improve their rehabilitation.”
The donation comprised food items such as maize flour, soya pieces, salt, sugar, cooking oil, complemented with blankets and buckets to alleviate some of the challenges the survivors are facing in evacuation camps.
Gowera said: “We are looking forward to fast recovery of the victims as such we have come with necessities in our quest to alleviate their immediate challenges.
“This reaffirms our commitment to share our network in both good and bad times as we always say always with you,” he said, while explaining that they decided to partner with The Red Cross Society of Malawi because of the charity’s vast experience in managing resources meant for disasters — including the previous working relationship that started in 2015.
“TNM decided to channel the funds through Malawi Red Cross Society as they are working directly on the ground where the impact is,” Gowera said. “The Red Cross is one of the worlds largest humanitarian organisations.
“TNM Plc is confident that our contribution will be put to good use as has been the case in the recent past when we worked with them to respond to similar disasters before.
He also expressed TNM’s heartfelt condolences to families who had lost their loved one in the disaster and wished those injured quick recovery and those displaced a quick rehabilitation.
“TNM as a Malawian company is greatly touched by the disaster and the plight of the victims. We mourn with the bereaved families and pledge to continue collaborating with agencies like Malawi Red Cross in our response,” he said.
Malawi Red Cross Society’s communications and resource Mobilisation specialist, Felix Washoni appealed for more support to help in the ongoing rescue mission.
“Right now, we are at a very critical phase of our operations which requires urgency and holistic approach,” he said. “This is a search and rescue phase whereby we would like to identify survivors and enhance their rehabilitation.”
Washoni expressed gratitude to TNM for the kind gesture and hailed the cordial relationship the two organisations have had for the past nine year.
“Since 2015 TNM has always been with us in times of our great needs. In addition, the company has made the donation after visiting the camps and appreciate the situation on the ground,” he said.
According to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) in the Ministry of Homeland Security, the death toll from the Tropical Cyclone Freddy has reached more than 190 as of Tuesday and assessments are still going on.
Meanwhile, St.Michael’s Girls Secondary School in Mangochi survived by a whisker what is believed to be a landslide by on Tuesday night as downpour flushed out masses of big rocks accompanied by mud and big trunks of trees.
The landslide has created a stream that is passing between the administration block and the hostels.
A report by Malawi News Agency (MANA) quotes Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola on his visit to the school on Wednesday as saying it described the St Michael’s incident as destructive — that it was by mercy of God that there was no loss of life or damage to the school.
Volunteers are currently removing mud, piles of sand and tree stems closer to the administration block and school hall. There are piles of rocks and uprooted trees and debris upstream where the flash flood originated from.
Mangochi received heavy down pour on Sunday and Monday nights that has seen households displaced Mangochi Municipal Council Chief Executive Officer, Tamanya Harawa has called for sectorial and non-state actors collaboration as Mangochi is responding to disaster caused by Cyclone Freddy induced rain that has rendered 1,754 households homeless.
Another report by MANA said Harawa made the appeal during a meeting that discussed ways and means of responding effects of reddy that also affected Mangochi following rains that started on Sunday afternoon but reached climax on Monday night till morning of Tuesday.
The Chief Executive Officer said there was need to get organised and coordinate in responding to the plight of those that are affected in the municipal and other parts of the district.
The meeting discussed a rapid assessment report that shows the number of affected households with worst hit areas being Traditional Authorities Namavi, Chowe and Mapila.
While some sought shelter within their relatives, others sought shelter at primary schools of St. Joseph, St. Augustine 2 and at Ntagaluka — also known as M’baluku.
Almost all the classrooms at both St. Joseph and St Augustine have been filled up by the displaced survivors.
Malawi Red Cross Society and non-governmental organisations working in Mangochi have called for speedy release of assessment reports so that they should forward it to their head offices for rapid response to the disaster in the district.—MANA reports by & Evance Chisiano