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Cyclone survivors hail Caritas Malawi for distributing relief supplies

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Survivors of Tropical Cyclone Freddy in Traditional Authorities (T/As) Nsanama in Machinga have commended the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) for distributing relief supplies to them.

ECM, through the Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) of Mangochi Diocese, has been distributing food and non-food supplies to 2, 000 households with financial support from Caritas Italiana.

Caritas Italiana donated K100 million to CADECOM of which K79 million was used to procure maize flour, soap cooking oil, beans, salt, corn soya blend, buckets with taps, sugar and sanitary pads, which have been distributed to the beneficiaries under Mpiri Deanery.

On the other hand, local Catholics donated clothes, which were also distributed alongside the other supplies.

Speaking at Nkasaulo Catholic Church on Friday, Village Head Justin described the donation as a huge relief to the affected households.

Village Head Justin puts a fingerprint on the signing sheet to acknowledge receipt of the relief supplies

“The relief supplies will alleviate the suffering. For some days, they will have food to eat while looking at what they can do to generate income,” said Justin who is also a faith leader at a local mosque.

Esnart Bauleni, a mother with six children, expressed gratitude to the Catholic Church for ensuring that every survivor benefits without considering their political and religious affiliation.

“This disaster didn’t choose who to affect. So, it’s commendable that the Catholic Church in Malawi also didn’t discriminate us based on our faith,” said Bauleni who comes from Pongolani Village.

Bauleni walking home with her relief supplies–photo by Watipaso Mzungu

The donation of the relief items started at Nsanama Catholic Parish on Thursday where Mangochi Diocese Pastoral Secretary, Father Medrick Mlava, said the donation is aimed at alleviating suffering among the affected families.

Mlava said the church believes in the dignity of human life; hence it is always concerned when natural disasters cause loss to life or damage to property that support livelihood.

“That’s why we approached CADECOM to ask for support towards the people who were affected by the disaster,” said Mlava, adding the church did not consider one’s political and religious affiliation in identifying the beneficiaries.

Diocesan CADECOM Coordinator for Mangochi Diocese, Pieter Nthenda, described the donation as a sign of solidarity with the affected families as well as the Government of Malawi in a time of tragedy.

However, Nthenda emphasized that the donated supplies were not enough to enable the survivors to recover from the loss.

He appealed to the Government and other players to continue mobilizing resources for the survivors to stand on their own.

“Large hectares of staple and cash crops such as rice and maize were submerged in water. As such, the recovery process would require that they should be supported with farm inputs for both irrigation and rain-fed farming in the next growing season,” he said.

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