Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) with financial support from the Malawi Network of Elder Persons Organization (MANEPO), donated K16 million in cash transfers to 344 elderly who were affected by floods at Chembe village in the area of Traditional Authority Pemba in Salima.
Deputy Disaster Rescue and Relief Advisor at MRCS, Roster Kufandiko, said that the cash transfers are part of the response to the floods that displaced people in some areas in Salima.
He explained that transfers will act as starter pack to restore the livelihood of the displaced people especially the elderly in the camps and to help them to rebuild their homes.
“Every person is getting K45, 000 to buy construction materials for their houses. We will ensure that the money is used for its intended purpose through the community groups that monitor the project,” Kufandiko said.
National Coordinator of Malawi Network of Elder Persons Organization, Andrew Kavala said their organization as an umbrella body of all organizations that promotes lives of the elderly in Malawi wants to shift the intervention on disaster response to put much focus on the elderly.
“Older persons are the most vulnerable group and the intervention that is given to people during the disaster is generic in nature and it does not look at the specific needs of elderly people. The background of this program is to make sure that we begin to respond to the specific needs of older women and men.
“We thought it wise to involve the third party to distribute the funds to beneficiaries for transparency,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries Abina Masauko, has commended Malawi Red Cross Society and MANEPO for timely response to their challenges.
“Am very happy today. The money I have received will help me rebuild my house and start to live a normal life. Life was totally different at the camp, but now am going to have my own house,” she said.
The programme is being implemented in camps of Kandulu Safe Heaven, Mtanda Woyera, Mgwirizano, Msumwa and Lifidzi Primary Schools.
Salima is one of the districts in central region badly hit by floods which left 1,569 households homeless early this year.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA