Botswana sends delegation to Malawi to evaluate devastation caused by Cyclone Freddy-Xinhua

Botswana sends delegation to Malawi to evaluate devastation caused by Cyclone Freddy

Source: Xinhua| 2023-03-21 22:21:16|Editor: huaxia

GABORONE, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Botswana sent a delegation to Malawi on a one-day official visit to evaluate first-hand the devastation caused by Cyclone Freddy, which hit hard in Malawi's southern districts from the night of March 12.

A press statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Monday said that the President of Malawi Lazarus Chakwera declared a state of disaster for the affected districts and cities and appealed for international assistance.

The statement said that the Malawi authorities expressed gratitude to the government and the people of Botswana for the visit and support given at a time of great need in their country.

Moreover, the ministry said the Botswana delegation was briefed on ongoing search and rescue operations and efforts to address the plight of displaced people.

Furthermore, it indicated that the Botswana delegation was also taken on a guided tour of the affected areas around Blantyre.

The ministry said that the delegation visited a campsite housing 4,000 people set up to accommodate some of the displaced people and an area that had been hit by flash floods and mudslides.

It revealed that the delegation was informed that many people perished in land and mudslides that swept away homes built on slopes and witnessed rescue teams comprising the army and police digging rubble where victims were reportedly buried.

The statement mentioned that the Malawi authorities identified immediate needs for relief efforts as food items, sanitary pads, medical supplies, shelter or tents to accommodate displaced persons, and milk for children under the age of three.

It said the situation remains dire and will likely affect more people as flood waters are now reaching low-lying areas and flooding inundating fields and destroying crops.

Furthermore, there are also fears of cholera outbreaks in some of the flooded areas.

The death toll from Tropical Cyclone Freddy in Malawi reached 499 as of Monday, with the number of displaced people increasing from 490,098 to 508,244, the Malawian Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) confirmed the figures Monday evening.