AFRICA/MALAWI - More than 400 dead and 200 thousand displaced: the situation continues to worsen in the area of the Archdiocese of Blantyre

Saturday, 18 March 2023

Blantyre (Agenzia Fides) - Roads and bridges swept away, entire communities isolated, unable to receive aid. Houses and infrastructures, thousands of families are without shelter, exposed to bad weather. These are the first results of tropical cyclone Freddy, which hit the African region twice in a few weeks.
The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has called on everyone to "send all kinds of contributions made on behalf of the Catholic Church through church structures such as small Christian communities, peripheral churches, parishes and diocesan administration offices, which will send donations to diocesan and national Caritas offices
"Let us try to be guardians of each other", the bishops said. In the statement issued on March 14, 2023, the ECM called on everyone, especially in flood and disaster prone areas, to move to safer places, to remain vigilant and to pay heed to official warnings from meteorological experts.
The President of the Bishops, Archbishop George Desmond Tambala, also decreed that the Sunday collection for March 19, 2023 from the 46 parishes in the metropolitan area will be sent directly to the ECM Malawi Flood Emergency Response.
On March 13, 2023, the President of Malawi, Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, declared a state of emergency in the southern part of the country following the disasters caused by the tropical cyclone in the most severely affected districts. These include Blantyre, Mulanje, Phalomba, Chikwawa, Nsanje, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Mangochi and Zomba districts. A total of 172 camps have been set up in the region to accommodate some 88,312 displaced Malawians.
According to information released by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), 19,676 households have been affected, 225 deaths have been recorded, 41 people are still missing and 707 have been injured. Many farm animals were also decimated and the water supply, electricity and internet were badly damaged. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 18/3/2023)