AFRICA/MALAWI - The story of a missionary: Malawi on its knees due to the damage caused by cyclones

Friday, 30 January 2015

Lilongwe (Agenzia Fides) - "Cyclones of the Mozambique Channel have brought devastation in Malawi", writes to Agenzia Fides Fr. Piergiorgio Gamba, Monfortan missionary who for decades has lived and worked in Malawi. "In addition to hundreds of deaths, many people are forced to leave their villages, which in the south have been literally covered with water. Cyclones have ended, now it is the normal rainy season. Fields, already soaked with water form marshes that cover everything. It is difficult to predict whether there will be a harvest this year".
The logistical challenges are huge and it will take a very long time before daily life, even in poverty, goes back to normality. Electricity is rationed across the country, because different plants are completely clogged by debris dragged to the grids of water intake on the Shire River. The fear of epidemics is high. The country has no tablets to purify water and cases of typhoid and cholera are reported in various villages.
Gamba noted that Malawi needs aid from donor Countries, still blocked because of "cashgate", the embezzlement of funds from abroad (see Fides 06/12/2014).
The missionary describes what his community does to help people affected by the floods "We have collected food and clothing to be distributed. Houses are made of bricks dried in the sun and therefore are not waterproof like red bricks". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/01/2015)