AFRICA/MALAWI - Cyclone Idai: "Help us rescue the victims", appeal of the Bishops of Malawi

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Lilongwe (Agenzia Fides) - "While we struggle together to respond to the disaster which has befallen us, we appeal to all Catholics and people of good will, donor agencies and our International development partners to spare the little they might have to support our brothers and sisters who are trapped in this catastrophic condition". This is the appeal that Agenzia Fides received from the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), where thousands of people were affected by the devastating floods that hit the southern and central parts of the country.
From 5 to 7 March 2019 these areas were hit by heavy rains accompanied by strong winds, due to deep low pressure area in the neighboring country Mozambique province, where hundreds of thousands of people were affected by the floods (see Fides, 18/03/2019 ).
Another State strongly hit by the cyclone "Idai" is Zimbabwe.
In a statement, the Bishops expressed their condolences for the death of 45 people and launched an appeal to deal with the damage to property and livestock caused by the floods.
The Bishops commended the head of State for declaring the floods a National Disaster which they say would help to pour in a lot of good will and support from donor partners and treat the disaster as a matter of urgency. Among other things, food, shelter, medicines, safe water and other basic needs are the immediate help needed to support the floods victims who are staying in evacuation centers. Currently, the death total has increased to 45, with 577 people injured, 147,958 households, representing 739,790people have been displaced. According to reports by the relief and development arm of the Catholic Church in the country, CADECOM, the affected districts include Nsanje, Chikwawa, Zomba, Mulanje, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Phalomba, Blantyre, Neno, Mwanza, Dedza, Balaka and Mangochi. (S.Z.) (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/3/2019)