Cyclone Freddy Hits Hard on Malawi.
President Lazarus Chakwera has asked Malawians to hold hands as Tropical Cyclone Freddy wreaked havoc in 10 southern region districts for over four dark days rendering the whole region a disaster area.
Tropical Cyclone Freddy has not just killed people and left others homeless and without relatives or parents; it has also united people both in mourning and in reaching out to survivors who are in need of shelter, food, water, clothes, shoes, and other items while seeking temporary shelter in schools, churches, and business premises.
Chakwera described the cyclone as the most devastating natural disaster he has seen, and he hailed individual citizens, companies, and development partners for reaching out to survivors of the cyclone.
“I have called for a cabinet meeting so that we find and release funds towards fixing the damage that cyclone has done, and let me thank all the people that took time to help the survivors in this hard time,” he explained.
Speaking in a special address delivered at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre the same evening, Chakwera declared 14 days of
“During this time of mourning, national flags will be flying at halfmast for seven days in honor of those that have lost their lives to the cyclone.”
Chakwera further said government has allocated K1.6 billion to disaster response activities and outlined four main activities the government intends to do during this time.
“Ensure proper burial of the dead and make all efforts to find the missing persons, make sure that no one is stranded, bring those affected to shelter, and ensure that there is food,” he said.
Former President Peter Mutharika also joined in to visit and give food to victims at Matope Primary School
in Ndirande and the Samaritan Trust in Chilobwe, Green Corner, where he called for unity as Malawians mourn those that have died due to the cyclone and find ways to help those that are temporarily in camps.
“This is not the time to look at what party one supports or what religion they belong to. This is the time for us
as a country to come together and help one another,” Mutharika said.
One of the humanitarian relief organizations in the country, Gift of the Givers Foundation, says poverty, lack of food, and inadequate shelter worsened the effects of Cyclone Freddy among the survivors.
Country Manager Sherifa Mia was speaking when the organization donated K25 million worth of food items to survivors in the communities of Chilusa and Ndungunya in Phalombe district.
“Access to good food is the most vital component that people need because this can help them stay healthy, and the organization will step up to provide more help during this time of the crisis,” said Mia.
Following the call made by President Chakwera to help the flood victims, neighboring countries have made financial and material donations to mitigate the sufferings of those severely affected by the cyclone.
Other organizations are on the forefront to donate food items and other materials to the flood victims.
As of March 25th, 2023, the death toll induced by tropical Cyclone Freddy was at 511, with 1,332 injuries and 533 people missing, while 1044 people have been rescued. The disaster has displaced 563,771 households.