Phalombe — The Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) on Sunday stepped in to assist people who were affected by floods in Phalombe following the persistent rains experienced last week.
The victims are seeking shelter at Mileme Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority Jenala in Phalombe district.
Among other things, MRCS provided maize flour, soya pieces, plastic buckets and salt that will cater for the population as a short term measure while plans are underway to bail the affected out of the situation by government and its development partners.
A total of 20,310 households were rendered homeless in Phalombe following floods that resulted from continuous rains that lasted for over four days last week from Monday through Friday.
Speaking during the presentation of the items, MRCS District Coordinator for Phalombe, Francis Liyati said the affected households were living in deplorable conditions, hence the need for immediate intervention.
"Just by talking to some of the victims, we've learnt that some have slept on empty stomachs for two days and others are surviving on pumpkins," Liyati said.
"That alone, calls for immediate support; although we cannot provide adequate support, but anything, no matter how small, that can be given to the affected households, will be of much relief," Liyati added.
Liyati said that MRCS would be soliciting for more help from its partners to ensure that the people receive the necessary support.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Cecilia Nakoma expressed gratitude for the items, emphasizing that food was the major need.
"Our greatest worry is food because without it there is no life. All the other things like shelter, clothing and blankets are important, however, if we do not have food, then we might as well die," Nakoma said.
Representative of Phalombe District Civil Protection Committee, Stanley Masala also commended MRCS for the rapid response, saying disasters required such swiftness.
Masala observed that government alone cannot afford the needs of the current situation, noting that with concerted efforts the affected households could be assisted to bounce back to their normal lives.
Mileme Primary School became a camp for at least 3,066 households following the overflowing of Phalombe River whose banks burst leading to flooding in the villages under Group Village Head Chimombo.