Listed NBS Bank and World Food Programme (WFP) have started disbursing funds through social cash transfer to over 2000 people affected by Cyclone Freddy at Nkhulambe Centre 1 and 2 in Phalombe.
The Bank’s Head of Marketing & Customer Experience Tamanda Ng’ombe said their main role is to make sure that the funds fall into the right hands.
“We work hand in hand with partners on the ground who work every day with the beneficiaries. In this case, the partner entrusted to do that is Circle for Integrated Community Development (CICOD). They are responsible for identification and then later pass the information to us to verify beforehand. The ID information is sent to us and we crosscheck what is on paper and what the beneficiary is presenting.”
“So far we have not met any challenges, WFP and CICOD have done a good job on the ground together with the District Commissioner and Department of Disaster Management (DODMA). They made sure that everything is in order, so our job has been straightforward,” said Ng’ombe.
WFP country Representative, Paul Turnbull said the lean season response is targeted at people who are food insecure.
“They are hungry because they didn’t get enough food from the last harvest. We understand that this particular district took the brunt of cyclone Freddy, so we realize that a lot of people won’t have enough food for this year. But it’s a program of limited duration,” said Turnbull.
In his remarks, Senior Group Nkhulambe said his area is one of the most affected by Cyclone Freddy as four villages namely Makambe, Nkhulambe, Nagoli and Mudeni lost 167 people while six are still missing.
“We are being given K150,000 which I have advised my subjects to use to buy food, which is our number one need. It will take time for us to start farming again as the area is full of sand. However, we are grateful for the help from international organizations through the government,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, 70-year-old Thelma Selemani of Madukano Village said she lost her maize and cassava gardens during Cyclone Freddy.
“We were surviving on mangoes, now we are going to buy maize with this money,” said Selemani
Commissioner for DODMA, Charles Kalemba echoed that Nkhulambe area needs more support.
“Most of the land here has been encroached by rocks or sand and cannot produce anymore, so from the time Cyclone Freddy happened in March to now we are still supporting the people in terms of food security.”
“What we are seeing here is a process where people are receiving cash transfers, we had also given them maize for October, but for November, December, and January they are getting K150,000 which they are going to use for purchasing food, and then we will also come back for more money in February and March,” said Kalemba.