Malawi President sounds SOS over Tropical Storm Ana victims
"The community leaders have confirmed that ever since their existence, they have never seen any flooding of this magnitude, which means that it was beyond anyone’s capacity to withstand"
MALAWI: Towards the end of January 2022, Tropical Storm Ana hit east Africa, with heavy rains causing flooding and mudslides in Madagascar, Mozambique, and Malawi, killing several people in its path, with reported wind speeds up to 100km per hour.
In Malawi, Tropical Storm Ana has so far killed 33 people and displaced about a million people, according to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA).
The department says 158 people have been injured and 20 are missing.
Meanwhile, Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has sounded an SOS as the country faces an unprecedented crisis due to Tropical Storm Ana.
Chakwera said this on Monday when he toured Chikwawa, one of the districts that have been heavily affected by the floods.
The Malawi leader said,” There is an urgent need for resources to help reconstruct infrastructure such as roads and houses, including basic necessities to the affected families.”
Speaking at Thabwa where he addressed the affected persons, Chakwera said the effects of moderate tropical storm Ana are very devastating and called for concerted efforts if the country is to experience a speedy recovery.
He said that he was aware that people were warned in advance and some moved to upland areas but they never had an idea, judging from previous experiences, what was to be before them.
“I have gone round to see the affected areas. The community leaders have confirmed that ever since their existence, they have never seen any flooding of this magnitude, which means that it was beyond anyone’s capacity to withstand,” said Chakwera.
The President also disclosed that he will be meeting some of the country’s donor partners this coming weekend to appeal for more support for food, shelter, and basic necessities.
Meanwhile, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) says 194, 000 households, almost a million people, have so far been affected by Tropical Storm Ana.
The department says 33 have been confirmed dead, 158 have been injured and 20 are missing.
DoDMA Commissioner, Charles Kalemba, said, “We appeal for food, shelter, agricultural inputs for replanting and other assistance for the affected.”
In a related development, First Discount House (FDH) Financial Holdings Limited has donated a relief package of MK27.5 million to the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) extending a heartfelt helping hand to areas that have been affected by Moderate Tropical Storm Ana.
Handing over the cheque to DoDMA, FDH Managing Director, Mike Chiwalo said FDH Financial Holdings mobilized itself and pooled some funds to go towards the purchase of food and non-food items including maize flour, cooking oil, beans, soya pieces, kapenta, buckets, blankets; just to mention a few.
Chiwalo said FDH, as a responsible citizen, does not only care about the people of Malawi when there is good business only, they care about their welfare at all times because FDH resonates with the needs of Malawians.
“ANA badly affected the nation at large and it left many families destitute as they were stripped of their livelihoods and now lack the basic necessities to survive.
“Even though these donations cannot reverse the tragedy of the floods, it is a first step towards assisting these families to get back on their feet. We wish to extend our deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones in these terrible floods and hence rendering the support,” said Chiwalo.
Out of the MK27.5 million, FDH Bank Plc has contributed MK15 million, FDH Limited contributed K7.5 million while FDH Money Bureau contributed MK5 million.
“We would like to take this opportunity to commend DoDMA under the Malawi Government for their efforts in managing the impact of the floods,” said Chiwalo.
Receiving the donation, Director of Response and Recovery, Moses Chimphepo said the department was grateful for the support rendered and assured the bank that the donation will go towards its intended purpose.
Chimphepo said any donations towards Tropical Storm ANA response operations will be accounted for and will be handled transparently.
“This is a very good gesture as the bank has responded to the call made by the President when he declared the State of Disaster on 26th January, following the devastating effects of ANA. These funds and relief items will go towards the intended purpose,” said Chimphepo.
So far, UNICEF Malawi, Concern Worldwide, Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS), Partners in Health, Gift of the Givers, Save the Children, the World Food Programme (WFP), and World Health Organisation (WHO) have also provided relief assistance in affected districts.
DoDMA continues to receive relief assistance from organizations, companies, and individuals of goodwill amidst widespread disinformation aimed at frustrating response operations towards ANA. The department will be updating the general public on any donation it receives on behalf of the affected people.
Still, with Tropical Storm Ana, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has appealed for more support for victims in neighboring Mozambique.
The organization says this Appeal has been revised to accommodate the impact of Tropical Storm (TS) Ana which made landfall on 24 January 2022.
The Revised Appeal details additional support needed to cover the needs of 50,000 people (10,000 households) in the most vulnerable households affected by Tropical Storm Ana with emergency response and recovery support and support the ongoing preparedness activities for the current floods and cyclone season.
Northern and central Mozambique have been particularly hard hit where TS Ana destroyed thousands of houses, dozens of schools and hospitals, downed power lines, and bridges were washed away by swollen rivers.
At least 21 people were killed in Mozambique and an estimated over 125’000 were affected.
*Additional reporting by DODMA