Malawi Red Cross resumes construction of 2015 January flood victims’ houses

The January 2015 Flood victims earmarked for Malawi Red Cross Society’s Role Model house construction in Chikwawa district can now breathe a sigh of relief as the organization is to resume the construction works.

The project which was launched in August 2015 with an aim of constructing 210 houses for the people who were relocated to safer places during the January 2015 floods in four districts namely of Nsanje, Blantyre, Chikwawa and Phalombe stalled due to funding challenges.

According to the organization’s Communications Manager, Felix Washon, the construction works stuck as the donor who made the commitment to support the construction of such model houses did not remit funds since November 2015.

“When we were at recovery stage, with our donor International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies agreed to construct model houses which are resilient to flooding. The donor made an appeal to international community for their support and countries made pledges.

“The donor advised us to start the construction works however, in the process; it was found that some donors had not remitted the funds they pledged to the federation. This affected the progress of the construction works as the funds were trickling in very slowly. Now, the organization’s donor has shown interest to resume the construction works before the heavy rains start so that the beneficiaries should have a better shelter,” Washon explained.

He added; “We have not abandoned the project, we are still waiting for the donor to remit funds to complete the construction works. We have engaged the donor and explained everything about the project. The donor is giving us funds in the next few weeks so that the houses can be completed.

“For your information, we have even engaged the beneficiaries whose houses are not completed and have given them feedback on the issue. In fact, the project met several challenges which include the devaluation of the kwacha.”

A visit by this reporter to the area of group village head Chitseko, Traditional Authority Mlolo in Nsanje district which is one of the areas benefiting from the model houses, indicated that over 25 houses are yet to be completed.

Frandson Jeke, 63, who happens to be one of the beneficiaries said it is now a sigh of relief that the organization is about to continue the construct works so that their houses should be completed.

He said he believed that things would change for the better after being identified as one of the people to benefit from the model houses.

“On behalf of colleagues, we are really happy that very soon our houses will be completed. Red Cross officials came to us and explained everything including the challenges the project faced. Now, after the news, we are very happy and cannot wait to see our houses completed,” said Jeke.

In August 2015, former Minister of Information, Tourism and Civil Education, Jappie Mhango launched both the resilient program and construction works of the said model houses for the flood victims in Chikwawa district.

During the launch, the organization assured the flood victims that a total of 210 houses would be constructed in four districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Blantyre and Phalombe.

According to Washon, his organization planned to build 70 houses for Nsanje district, 70 for Phalombe, 50 for Chikwawa and 30 for Blantyre.

Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA.