Flood victims need more support for recovery, MRCS

Lilongwe, . Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) says it is now time to give flood victims assistance that would help them recover from shocks caused by the floods after weeks of providing emergency relief items.

It is now about three weeks since rainstorms followed by floods destroyed people’s homes, crop fields and claimed more than 50 lives in about 13 districts with Lower Shire the most hit.

Hundreds of families are now in camps in Chikwawa and Nsanje where they are in need of food, water and sanitation, hygiene and shelter.

Speaking when he received 10 tonnes of maize flour donation from China Lilongwe Grand Holding Corporation Ltd at Red Cross offices in Lilongwe on Wednesday, MRCS Secretary General, McBain Kanongodza said after floods occurred, there was need for emergency relief assistance.

He however said since some time has now passed, there is need to focus on recovery assistance that would require more support to ease the victims’ shocks.

He said the donation of flour by the Chinese construction company was such an important support.

It is a timely donation because we still have people that are camped in various places in areas which were affected by the floods.

We have not reached all the areas and some of them have not received enough assistance, even in terms of food, said Kanongodza.

According to the Secretary General, MRCS has defined areas that require continued support amongst the flood victims namely need for food, water and sanitation, and shelter.

These people have lost their houses and it is difficult for them to get back because many do not have the capacity to construct houses, he said.

He cited irrigation farming as one area requiring more support to assist the flood victims to replant crops and get more food.

The donated maize flour, which is valued at over K4.5 million including logistics and personal expenses, will be distributed among flood victims in Nsanje.

China Lilongwe Grand Holding Corporation Ltd General Manager, Gaoqiang Wu said despite being a foreign company, they have always attached importance to public welfare undertakings, which he said is in line with the company’s social responsibility.

As part of the Malawi Society, we have the duty to help the affected people. After the declaration of the State-of-Emergency [by President Arthur Peter Mutharika], our company contacted Malawi Red Cross immediately.

We thought we could contribute a little for post-disaster recovery of the victims, said Wu.

The construction company’s general manager said they also felt the urge to donate to the flood victims after realising that his country had also gone through similar situations in the past when people suffered.

Wu said since donating flour is what they can do at the moment, he would try to woo and ask other companies in his country also to help.

Since the flood disaster occurred, over 20 local and international companies and institutions have assisted the flood victims with emergency relief items, according to MRCS.

Source: MANA Online