Some Cyclone Freddy survivors in Balaka have expressed concern that the camps are overcrowded and that there is poor sanitation which could lead to the spread of diseases.
One of the survivors, Martha Burnet, 70, from Kambewe village, Sub-Traditional Authority Phimbi in the district, claims overcrowding at Shire North Living Waters Church camp is making it difficult for the survivors to observe sanitation measures exposing many of them, especially children and the elderly, to the risk of contracting diseases such as cholera and other water-borne diseases.
”The situation is not good here as most of the survivors are failing to observe right sanitation standards. It is more challenging to young children and the elderly,” said Burnet.
Most of the survivors whom we spoke with appealed to well wishers, the government and aid agencies to provide them with tents so that they should relocate to their respective destinations.
Apart from tents, the survivors also appealed for the provision of maize seeds, sweet potato vines and fertilizer to be used in winter cropping as most of them have no food as their crop fields were washed away.
Meanwhile, a Balaka based non-governmental organization, Better Standard Living Development Initiative has come to the rescue of 500 survivors camping at Shire North Living Waters Church,Thundu Primary School and Nkaya Seventh day Adventist Church by donating assorted relief items.
Some of the items provided include; bags of maize flour,packets of sugar,cooking oil, beans,plastic papers, clothes, just to mention a few.
The organization’s Executive Director, MacFord Chinonga says they believe in charity work hence the donation.
Chinonga said the donation worth 2.5 million Malawi Kwacha has been done with support from the Citizen Response Initiative led by Onjezani Kenani and Dr.Thandie Hara.
Member of Parliament for Balaka South Constituency, where the camps are located, Ireen Mambala, has since described the donation as timely as the affected are yet to settle down.
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