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Donations start pouring in Malawian Cyclone Freddy victims -Embassy

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Harare (New Ziana)-The Malawian embassy in Zimbabwe said on Friday donations have started pouring in for emergency assistance for victims of Cyclone Freddy, which killed more than 200 people and left thousands homeless in that country.

In an interview with New Ziana, chair of the appeal committee at the embassy Major General Elias Mpaso said people started bringing in donations immediately after hearing the plea.

“What we have done is we have divided our service into 10 groupings. So those groupings have started gathering items in their respective areas here in Zimbabwe,” he said.

“We have churches which are pre-dominantly manned by Malawians, then we have other well-wishers like the Celebration Church, the Mercy Missionaries and the Roman Catholic Church. Then there are individuals who are also assisting to mobilise.”

Maj Gen Mpaso said the meeting for the appeal was held on Wednesday this week while the letter of appeal was sent out the following day, and immediately donations started pouring in.

“We have areas where they will bring in the items. We have some items in Mbare at the Church of Central Africa Presbiterian (CCAP) which they are requesting us to come and collect,” he said, adding all the items and the donors were being recorded for accountability.

“People can bring any items except perishables. So we want non-perishables mostly, because those people have lost houses which means they have no clothing, no bedding and no utensils, so these are what we are trying to get from the people.”

He said they were likely to face challenges in collecting the donated items which were pouring in from all across the country including Bulawayo and Hwange, where there were large communities of Malawian nationals.

“So those, ones when they are done, they will have to find their own transport to bring the stuff here so that it is mobilised centrally and taken from here to Malawi,” he said.

“And Malawi will write indicating the different areas needing the items and we will go to deliver straight from here because chances are we cannot go and heap them at a central place. We have to be given selected areas according to the items donated.”

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera on Tuesday declared a state of disaster for Cyclone Freddy, which killed 219 people in that country since Saturday night and left a trail of destruction and displaced more than 11 000 people.

The declaration was part of an appeal for national and international assistance for the victims of the cyclone and since then, several organisations have started responding to call.

Chakwera also declared two weeks of mourning for the more than 200 people killed by the Cyclone and ordered all flags to fly at half-mast.

He said the decision to declare 14 days of mourning came after he witnessed the scale of devastation from the cyclone, one of the longest lasting tropical storms to hit the southern hemisphere, and the agony that victims went through to save their lives.

New Ziana

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