By Ivy Tunkete Mwanyongo
As different stakeholders have stepped up efforts in assisting survivors of Tropical Cyclone Freddy in Southern Malawi with various relief items, victims at Chikavumbwa camp in Blantyre say they feel abandoned as no one came to their support weeks after the disaster.
Situated in Kaponya village in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Kapeni, the camp is sheltering 54 victims including women and children from three villages of Chikhala, Ngoza and Chimayimba.
This came to light when Umunthu Plus, a Nkhotakota based local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Friday donated assorted relief items including soap, sugar, clothes, rice, blankets and sanitary pads to victims at the camp.
Rite Magobo, a 68-year-old woman said two weeks at the camp, life has been hard as they run days without food and medical support.
“Since we came here, Umunthu Plus is the first organization to visit this site and I feel happy that we now have food that will keep us for days,” said Magombo.
She added, “I am living in pain at this camp because my right leg was injured due to a wall that fell on me, but there is no immediate health assistance being offered here”.
Another victim, Elina Elida, coincided with Magombo saying they are sleeping without mosquito nets which they fear might expose them to diseases such as Malaria.
“I am appealing to the authorities to consider this camp as well when they are allocating various relief items,” said Eladi.
“I lost everything due to Tropical Cyclone Freddy and any assistance ranging from clothes and food like what Umunthu Plus has brought today, will be appreciated” she added.
Speaking after donating the items, Umunthu Plus Programs Officer Faida Amurani Phiri said, the organization felt a need of reaching out to the victims as a way of giving them hope as some are now homeless.
She said her organization is deeply concerned with the welfare of the children and the elderly at Chikavumbwa camp, and she has since called on other well-wishers to consider extending donations to the site.
“Am actually shocked with what I have seen here as there are other children who are displaced after their houses collapsed”, Said Phiri.
Chairperson for Kapeni Area Civil Protection Committee (ACPC) Sam Bwanali expressed shock that the camp lacks immediate health response, and he has promised to address the matter to relevant authorities.
Umunthu Plus donated assorted items worth K5.7 million.