The Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) in partnership with Malawi Network of Older Persons Organisation (MANEPO) has donated cash to elderly people who were left homeless in Salima following floods that occurred in February this year.
About 16 million kwacha was given out to the displaced elderly in Chembe Village, Traditional Authority Pemba in the district. Households with an elderly person received K45,000 cash each to kick-start the reconstruction of their houses that were destroyed by the floods.
Speaking during the handing over of the cash to the elderly on Friday, National coordinator for MANEPO Andrew Kavala said over 344 households from the area have benefited from the flood response cash transfer.
Kavala said after assessing the need, MANEPO approached MRCS and reached an agreement to provide cash to the displaced households.
‘’We have been doing assessment on disaster in Malawi targeting the elderly and as such this cash donation will make a huge difference in their respective homes,” said Kavala.
He further said when assessment was done, lack of shelter was identified as a serious problem for the elderly hence the donation.
Kavala revealed that for transparency and accountability sake, they engaged Telecom Network Malawi (TNM) to handle the transferring of the cash to the elderly through mobile cash transfer.
“During the assessment period, the affected people were registered with TNM system to access the cash and the process went on well,” explained Kavala.
He said his organisation received financial support from START Network from United Kingdom (UK) to help the elderly after assessing their needs in the area.
Malawi Red Cross Society Assistant Disaster Manager and cash transfer focal person, Roster Kufandiko, thanked MANEPO for partnering with MRCS to help the survivors of the February floods. He said cash transfer was the best donation as it will help them maintain their homes since they have been living in the camps.
About 1569 households were heavily affected and left homeless in the district following the disaster of which 344 were the elderly receiving the cash donation.
The displaced families are still living in 5 camps namely, Mgwilizano, Kandulu, Msumwa, Mtanda Woyera and Lifidzi in the district.
“The cash will enable them to go back to their homes and continue living comfortably with their families,” said Kufandiko.
Speaking in an interview, one of the beneficiaries Achawo Akili said the donation has come at a right time when many people in the area are still living in the camps after the floods destroyed their homes.
“We were heavily affected by the stormy rains and we lost everything including our houses and crops,” said Akili.
He welcomed the donation saying it will go a long way in maintaining their destroyed houses.
“This is a good gesture particularly to us older people who could not afford money to rebuild our houses,” lamented Akili.
She thanked MANEPO and Red Cross for coming to their rescue saying they can now go back to their respective homes.