AMECEA Chairman Rt. Rev. Charles Kasonde has expressed profound sadness following the tragic effects of the flooding in Malawi which has since at the time of going to press, it claimed over 50 lives, resulted to hundreds of injuries, displacement of thousands of people as well as destruction of crops and property. He calls upon AMECEA Partners to respond to the cry for humanitarian assistance in whichever way possible.
In a letter to the Chairman of Malawi Episcopal Conference Most Rev. Luke Thomas Msusa, shared with AMECEA Online News, Bishop Kasonde on behalf of AMECEA, expressed solidarity to all affected families, quick recovery to the injured, condoles to the bereaved families and repose for the souls of the departed.
According to information shared by the Catholic Development Commission of Malawi (CADECOM) on Wednesday March 13, the death toll had risen to over 50 per the report from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs. Five hundred and seventy-seven have been injured while two people are reported missing. The information further indicated that approximately 740,000 people have been displaced and are seeking refuge in evacuation camps set, schools and churches, while the country now is also on alert for another approaching tropical cyclone from Mozambique.
While actual figures on the extent of damage to property and general livelihoods assets will be known in due course, there is an urgent need for humanitarian support as the affected households are in dire need of food, shelter, water and sanitary items. The temporary shelters are reported to be congested and chances of occurrence of water borne diseases are high.
“I pray for encouragement to all those involved in rescue operations and humanitarian assistance that they may not tire of supporting their brothers and sisters who need them most during this difficult time,” Bishop Kasonde who is also the Bishop of Solwezi, Zambia expressed in his message adding that “I also pray that our partners and people of good will who have always journeyed with us in both good and bad times may rise up to the call.”
CADECOM has been on the ground since the onset of the disasters to support assessments efforts to establish the extent of the disaster. Saturday March 9, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi issued a statement mourning for the lost lives, and calling upon all well-wishers and people of good will to support the affected households. The Church has since opened up schools and churches which are now being used as temporary shelters.
CADECOM continue to update the Caritas Internationalis network and has held meetings with Caritas partners supporting projects in Malawi (Trocaire, CRS and SCIAF) to collaborate on efforts to mobilize resources to support the affected communities.