Red Cross aids Nsanje wind storm victims

Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) has distributed cash to 171 families who were affected by strong winds in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Tengani in Nsanje District last month.

The strong winds, which occurred on February 17, damaged properties and affected 546 families.

Kanongodza (R) hands over cash to one of the beneficiaries Chrissy Petulo

Out of 546 families, 375, representing 68.7 percent restored their damaged property.

The development prompted the society to assist the remaining 171 families who failed to restore their properties with funding from their Belgium counterparts Belgium Red Cross Society.

Families which were heavily affected by the strong winds received K65 000 each while the least affected received K22 000. In total, the society distributed K7.5 million.

In an interview after the distribution exercise, the society’s secretary general McBain Kanongodza said they are slowly changing from distributing relief items to cash, saying this will enable beneficiaries buy things they need most in their houses.

He said: “Some of them lost their houses; some, their houses were partially destroyed while others have lost assets in their houses, including food. We have disbursed some cash so that they can respond to some of those things.”

In his speech during the donation, Nsanje district information officer Martin Chiwanda, who represented Nsanje district commissioner Reinhard Chavula, thanked MRCS for the swift response to the disaster.

He asked beneficiaries to use the money for the intended purposes.

On his part, senior group village head Chikhawo attributed the strong wind to deforestation in the area. He urged his subjects to plant more trees.

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