Blantyre City East Member of Parliament (MP), John Bande has expressed his immense appreciation to the assistance rendered from Malawi Relief Fund-UK (MRF-UK) towards survivors of flash floods due to effects of Cyclone Freddy, which was greatly affected of the storms that took place last week.
Concentration of alleviating the plight of survivors, whose homes were washed away by, is mostly in urban areas of Blantyre and Zomba — thus MRF-UK focusing its attention in Zomba, Machinga and Machinjiri in Blantyre.
The charity, whose catchment area includes Zomba and Blantyre, assisted a total of 1,200 families with immediate needs of maize flour and plastic sheeting as temporary shelters.
The areas were in Jali; in Traditional Authorities (T/A) Kapoloma and Chiwalo in Machinga — in the villages of Samute, Mapata and Chikumba and Bande’s Machinjiri area.
Cyclone Freddy was second of floods to hit Machinjiri with the first in February that destroyed homes and a bridge that connects Chikapa and Area 10 and is an important business route to Limbe — especially for cargo trucks transiting from the M1 Road.
Thus Bande being so immensely proud that MRF-UK has included his constituency in support of the effects of Cyclone Freddy, saying: “This charity was the first to help us and we all offer our profound thanks.
“They have helped a lot of people here in my constituency. We appreciate. You may wish to know that Malawi Relief Fund-UK have been assisting our community for a long time — they are part of us.”
MRF-UK country coordinator, Yakub Adam Vialli said they turned their focus on these areas because most of them are already economically vulnerable and the stress they have recently experienced is too much to bear for themselves.
“As we assess impact of damage, we decided to relieve them with basic needs of flour while the sheeting is a means of temporary shelter.
“Funds permitting, we will carry out other intervention but for the meantime, we thought of reaching out to these areas for others to appreciate that there are several others places that need immediate intervention,” Valli said.
Last week, MRF-UK, in partnership with Issa Foundation (UK), officially handed over 200 climate change-resilient houses which were constructed for the benefit of the vulnerable elderly women in the areas of Traditional Authority (T/A) Maganga in Salima District.
The houses were complemented with boreholes that were sunk around the communities where they were built and were handed over as the two charities were reviewing their annual house project assessment.
So far, MRF-UK has drilled over 80 boreholes in different areas of Malawi from 2022-2023 from the several catchment areas that vulnerable people are assisted, more especially elderly women who support orphans and so far.
And in partnership with Issa Foundation (UK), over 1,957 low cost but climate change-resilient houses have been built and handed over — accounting to over 3,800 in different areas of the country.
Apart from houses and provision of clean water, MRF-UK with funding from Issa Foundation have constructed a faith and learning hub for the Salima community.
In November, MRF-UK handed over 142 decent houses in the villages of Mchiliko and Malowa in Namwera, Mangochi District through the that was initiated in 2015.
MRF-UK started building low cost houses since the floods of 2015 in Chiradzulu, Mangochi, Ntaja, Nselema, Namwera, Zomba, Phalombe, Salima and Salima that became the charity’s catchment areas for assistance.
The houses come along with latrines and the beneficiaries are also provide a starter pack of items that include mattresses, blankets and kitchen utensils and sinking of boreholes in such communities.
Provision of clean and safe water is one of MRF-UK objective in assisting humanitarian needs of vulnerable people as well as food handouts and the gift of sight, among many other projects.
The charity also manages a Talha Scholarship that reaches out to more 240 students in various universities and colleges in which over a 100 females are in teacher training programmes.
Though its catchment areas are Zomba, Chiradzulu, Phalombe and Mangochi, MRF-UK swiftly moved in to assist flood victims of Cyclone Ana last year with relief items that included food, clothing, blankets, safe water and shelter in the Lower Shire.