MRCS, DoDMA advise Phalombe cyclone victims to return home

Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) and the Department of Disaster and Management Affairs (DoDMA) have asked people who were displaced as a result of Tropical Storm Ana and Gombe in Phalombe to return to their homes.

They said this during the launch of the distribution of construction material packages for those who were displaced by floods and are still living in camps.

Secretary-General for MRCS, Macbain Kanongodza, said each package contains tarpaulins, blankets, kitchenware and other items meant to help those living in camps to return to their villages and rebuild new homes.

"We are urging the 371 households who have received the return home packages to go and rebuild their lives and engage in productive activities that will boost their livelihoods," Kanongodza said.

For a 29-year-old single mother, Victoria Sailesi, in Traditional Authority Jenala in the district the MRCS's reconstruction package is timely.

Phalombe flood victims
MRCS and DoDMA officials distribute the material package

"With the return package I have received, I am now going back home to build a house for my family of three. Life in the camp is difficult because we rely on donors to give us food if they do not come it means we famish with hunger," Sailesi said.

Director of Disaster and Recovery Programme at DoDMA, Reverend Moses Chimphepo, when asked whether this is the right time for people displaced by floods to return home considering that some areas are still experiencing rainfall, said weather experts have indicated that tropical storms have gone hence those living in camps should be returning to their homes but also relocate to the upland.

MRCS has invested K290 million to provide reconstruction packages for people who were displaced by floods in Phalombe, Nsanje, Chikwawa and Salima so that they return to their homes and rebuild their lives.