inister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Jean Sendeza has asked traditional leaders to ensure girls living in camps are protected from various forms of abuse.
There are 577 camps in 14 district councils and two city councils affected by Tropical Cyclone Freddy in the Southern Region where survivors, including girls, are receiving humanitarian assistance.
Speaking on Saturday after visiting Dinde Camp in Senior Chief Malemia in Nsanje District, Sendeza asked social protection workers and traditional leaders to protect girls, women and the elderly in camps.
She said: “As you know that schools in the affected districts have been suspended, it is our prayer that girls should be protected.
“We don’t want to hear what happened in 2020 when schools were closed as a precautionary measure against Covid-19. The future lies in the hands of girls.”
Sendeza also asked authorities to ensure breastfeeding mothers, the elderly and people with disabilities get their needs.
However, she thanked the International Organisation for Migration for supporting the camp with blankets, mats, rice, maize flour, plastic pails, water, cups, papers for roofing, cooking oil, soap and clothes.
Sendeza also thanked Foundation for Civic Education and Social Empowerment, who with support from UNFPA, donated dignity kits to girls at the camp.
International Organisation for Migration chief of mission Nomagugu Hanyana Ncube promised to make mobile toilets available at the camp.
Senior Chief Malemia thanked government for supporting the survivors with relief items.
Dinde camp has 610 households representing 2 440 people.