National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc has donated a total of K135 million to help in relief items for survivors of Cyclone Freddy which has claimed lives of more than 200 people and displaced thousands of families in the southern region of the country.
Speaking in Blantyre Thursday when the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) listed bank presented the donation through international humanitarian organization Malawi Red Cross Society, NBM plc Chief Executive Officer Macfussy Kawawa described the Cyclone Freddy situation as ‘heartbreaking’.
“Cyclone Freddy has left a trail of destruction in its wake, causing significant loss of life, damage to human settlements, and infrastructure of all kinds in health, education, power generation, agriculture, and bringing threat to food security across several districts in the southern region.”
“The death toll has sadly risen to 225 with 707 injured and at least 40 people reported missing. This is a heartbreaking situation, and our hearts go out to all those affected by this disaster,” said Kawawa.
“At National Bank of Malawi (NBM) Plc, it is our responsibility to support our communities during times like this. It is against this background that we have committed a total of K135 million as support towards relief efforts,” added Kawawa.
He said the donation is in two bits with K15 million going through a consolidated Press Group of Companies (PCL) relief initiative and the K120 million to purchase first-line relief items for distribution to affected households through the Malawi Red Cross Society. NBM plc is a subsidiary of conglomerate Press Corporation plc.
Kawawa said the relief items will include food as well as non-food items such as tents, blankets, mosquito nets, plastic sheeting, utensils, buckets, and others adding that an allocation of fuel will also be made to the key players on the ground to enable their assessment and distribution efforts during this period.
“We recognize that these items may not fully alleviate the pain and suffering that those affected are going through, but we hope that they will bring some comfort and relief during this difficult time. It is our sincere hope that this contribution will be properly managed and will complement government efforts in providing aid to disaster-hit households,” said Kawawa.
Kawawa, who was flanked by NBM plc Deputy CEO Harold Jiya and NBM plc Head of Operations Brian Boby, also noted that ‘Cyclone Freddy has revealed a strong spirit of togetherness – Ubuntu among us’.
“It is our hope that we will continue to support one another during this difficult period and that we will stand together to rebuild our nation. Let me reiterate that NBM Plc is committed to supporting our communities in times of need. We will therefore continue to stand with our fellow Malawians, providing support and hope in the face of adversity,” assured Kawawa.
Receiving the donation, Malawi Red Cross Society Secretary General McBain Kanong’odza thanked NBM plc for the donation and assured that the donation will reach its intended Cyclone Freddy survivors.
“We want to assure you that we are going to account for all the resources that we have received to help the survivors and this donation will reach the intended beneficiaries,” said Kanong’odza.
According to a report released by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) at 11am on Wednesday the 15th of March, Cyclone Freddy has displaced over 19,676 households (approximately 88,312 people) and 165 camps have been set to accommodate the displaced with the death toll rising to 225 with 707 injured and at least 40 people reported missing.