There were smiles from Cyclone Idai survivors in Phalombe over the weekend as they received cash from Oxfam in Malawi as part of recovery response.
Over 1,600 households from the area of traditional authority Jenala got non-conditional cash each amounting to Mk23,000 which they need to use in buying maize flour, cooking oil and beans for their families.
Speaking after receiving the cash at Tamani EPA ground on Saturday, Ganizani Lisoni, a father of 10 children, commended Oxfam in Malawi for the help saying with the current hunger situation at his home now they will afford to find something to eat in the number of coming days using the cash.
“Let me thank Oxfam for thinking of helping us with this kind of aid considering of hard times we have been facing since we were hit by the cyclone idai. As for me my house was destroyed and I had to erect a temporary house where I am staying with my family.
“Because of that, even our crops were destroyed and with this little money my family will be able to buy some foods and let me tell you with 10 children we have been living in a difficult life,” said Lisoni who hails from Ndungunya village.
In his remarks, group village headman Namandwa said the aid has come at a right time as people in the area have nothing to depend on as food considering most crops were destroyed in the previous growing season.
“Let me tell you that we have extreme hunger here. Of course, our people here cultivated some crops last year but as the crops were growing they were attacked by army worms, dry spell then the Cyclone Idai hence we got nowhere to lean on.
“We are staying by the grace of God here. Let me thank Oxfam for this help and we are all happy here because this will help people here maybe up to when we will be able to cook the fresh maize when they are ready,” said the chief.
On his part, Humanitarian Programme Manager for Oxfam in Malawi, Joseph Moyo, in an interview said their organisation thought of helping people in this area following a complaint that they do not have food in their households.
“We have been working in Phalombe for a long time and we have built a good relationship with people here so we have interventions like in water and sanitation hygiene, agriculture so while doing such interventions people have been complaining that they can’t participate fully because of hunger.
“So realising that the government assistance will start in February, there was a gap for them to survive therefore Oxfam, as the true friend to the community, we came in to support these people to cover this gap,” said Moyo.
Moyo further disclosed that the organisation will in less than two weeks come with a programme whereby about 4000 beneficiaries will have to work first for 21 days and get paid later and these two programmes will cost about Mk129 Million