NICO Group and its South Africa-based business partner, Sanlam on Thursday donated relief items worth K15 million to neglected victims in Machinga who were also affected by the Cyclone Idai floods that hit the country in March this year.
T/A Nkula delivering his vote of thanks as Mandala (in black suit) and others guests listen Mandala and T/A Nkula present the donation to a beneficiary
According to the area's Traditional Authority Nkula, they too were greatly affected by the floods but they did not know how to approach the relief-giving authorities or had the means to be noticed by them until World Vision Malawi visited the area for their continuous assessment.
T/A Nkula said they have not been spared of effects of heavy rains in the past few years and he was a very proud chief that NICO and Sanlam, with the intervention of World Vision Malawi, have come forward to assist the affected families.
World Vision Malawi's Humantarian Emergency Affairs Manager, Elisha Kapalamula said in their assessment they discovered out of about 11,352 households in T/A Nkula's area, 1,355 were affected by the floods.
He said after sending SOS requests to various stakeholders, NICO and Sanlam came forward specifically to assist T/A Nkula's 1,000 households which comprise 4,670 family members.
The donation for each household included one 50kgs of maize flour, 10 packets of Soya pieces, 20 litre buckets, 5 plastic plates and cups each and 1 litre bottle of cooking oil.
"NICO and Sanlam were one of the organizations that responded to our appeal for assistance when the floods hit the country and we are grateful that they chose Machinga as their area of preference, because this area has been neglected for quite a while," Kapalamula said.
The donation was presented by Donbell Mandala, NICO General's Chief Executive Officer on behalf of Group Managing Director Vizenge Kumwenda and Sanlam, who said even though it has been months since the flood disaster happened, reports still indicate that the impact of these floods is still experienced by some Malawians.
"As concerned corporate citizens, NICO and our business partner Sanlam believe in reaching out to the communities in such times. You may recall when the floods happened, NICO was one of the first institutions to reach out through Blantyre City Council to assist the victims.
"Today, jointly with Sanlam, we come again to continue giving hope to fellow Malawians, with the able assistance of humanitarian relief agency, World Vision, by donating various relief items which are worth K15 million to the victims.
"Allow me to acknowledge the proactive steps that World Vision is taking ensuring that those affected by the floods continue to receive assistance. We hope that this donation from Sanlam and NICO will help to alleviate some of the suffering we are witnessing.
"I also appeal to fellow corporates and able individuals to continue coming forward and support the affected victims to help them resume their normal lives," Mandala said.
In March, just after the disaster caused by Cyclone Idai, NICO Group swiftly responded to the appeal for assistance which the former Mayor of Blantyre City Counsellor Wild Ndipo had made to the corporate world and other well-wishers by donating MK5 million to help the Council assist thousands of household victims that were affected.
And in April, NICO Group and Sanlam also donated MK10 million towards the international charitable organisation Rotary District 9210 to host their annual conference, which will Malawi hosted in Mangochi from April 24 to 28.
NICO and Sanlam are both leading financial services groups in their respective countries of Malawi and South Africa respectively and in their partnership, Sanlam has shareholding in NICO insurance companies and provide technical support to the NICO business.
"NICO is involved in general insurance, life insurance, pension, asset management, banking, technology and property. We prides ourselves to be a one-stop-financial services shop," Mandala said.