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SADC countries commended for support towards Cyclone Freddy victims

Story by John Nhandara

THE government of Malawi has expressed gratitude to SADC member states, including Zimbabwe, for their timely intervention after the devastating Cyclone Freddy left a trail of destruction in the neighbouring country.

The Republic of Malawi says the support they are receiving from SADC member states has greatly assisted in the provision of basic needs to families affected by Cyclone Freddy.

Deputy Ambassador of Malawi to Zimbabwe Major General Elias Mpaso told ZBC News that although the search for missing victims is still underway, attention has now shifted to the resettlement of more than 500 displaced people who are staying in schools and camps.

“So far because of the assistance we have received from the region, the government is now able to relocate people back to their original homes where they can resettle and start a new life, but generally we are grateful for the assistance we have received from the region and Zimbabwe in particular by assisting us timely,” said Ambassador Mpaso.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Mozambique says although it has received significant support from SADC countries, the trail of destruction left by Cyclone Freddy which struck the country twice in April will take longer to repair.

“Cyclone Freddy’s damage was substantial it affected five provinces in Mozambique, damaged over 5 000 kilometres of road, destroyed over 304 000 hectares of the land killed a lot of people in the process,” said the first secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Mozambique, Mr Edson David Zimba.

The executive director of the Macro Economic and Financial Management Institute of Southern Africa (MEFMI), Mr Louis Austin Kasendeke, who also extended financial assistance and blankets to the two countries, called for a continental response mechanism for natural disasters in the wake of climate change.

“We have expressed our sympathies with the people of Malawi and Mozambique because we have watched helplessly as Cyclone Freddy caused destruction. We call on the region to continuously support the two countries that are grappling with the effects of climate change. That’s why we have also seen it fit to make a financial contribution,” he said.

According to Malawi’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Cyclone Freddy displaced more than 5 000 people in Malawi and caused the death of about 511 people while 533 are still missing.

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