Sunday, February 22, 2015

ADRA Malawi, SDA Church responds to flood situation

             By Elias Banda
ADRA Malawi and the Seventh –Day Adventist Church have provided relief items to 2,599 flood victims in some of the affected districts of Machinga, Phalombe and Mulanje. 
SDA Church members during relief distribution

The response came after heavy rains and severe flooding mid-January,  left about 200 people dead and more than 135000 displaced in 15 of the 28 districts of Malawi.
The victims, whose houses had collapsed, received safety kits which composed of buckets, plates, pots, cups, mosquito nets, plastic sheets, water treatment chemicals, basins, spoons and blankets.
Before the distribution exercise commenced, the ADRA Malawi Emergency Team verified names of the victims and visited their homes and most of them were found in churches and schools, where they sought shelter after their houses had collapsed.  The distribution operation was jointly done by ADRA Malawi staff and Adventist men, women and youths from local churches.
In Machinga, ADRA Malawi distributed relief items to 450 households in traditional authorities of; Kawinga, Mlomba and Liwonde, with support from Denmark. According to the Disaster Impact Report released earlier by the District Assistant Disaster Risk Management Officer, 29, 651 houses had collapsed in Machinga due to heavy rains and vicious winds. The report further indicated that the victims were desperately in need of food, shelter, plastic sheets and beddings.
ADRA Malawi staff and church members sorting out relief items before distribution
The Disaster Impact Assessment Report for Phalombe indicated that 34, 589 had collapsed, forcing the victims to seek shelter in school and church buildings. ADRA Malawi, with support from ADRA Afro, the Adventist Church, and ADRA International responded to the situation by providing relief items to 340 households in Traditional Authority Jenala in the district.
In Mulanje, the distribution operation was hampered by heavy rains that caused some roads leading to the distributions points to be impassable. A truck carrying relief items got stuck in the mud on
A woman feeling relieved after receiving her share
February 18 for several hours before it was pulled out near Saalam Village, where 123 flood victims were expected to receive relief items. The situation also caused delays in the delivery of relief items to Naluso and Mimosa in the district. In Mulanje, ADRA Malawi has distributed relief items to 1, 809 households with support from Sweden. According to the Preliminary Disaster Report released by the District Commissioner, flooding and heavy winds left 18 people dead and 250 seriously injured. The report further indicated that 12 500 houses had collapsed.
One of the victims, Mili Bilali 78 of Saalam Village sustained a fractured leg after his house fell on him at night and was pulled from the ruble after he shouted for help. Bilali was overwhelmed with joy after receiving relief items and thanked ADRA Malawi and the donors for the timely assistance.
Another victim, Elida Selemani 80 of John Village whose house collapsed while she was sleeping, expressed her joy by dancing before the chanting crowd when she got her share of relief items. “I’m doing this to show you that you have made my day, and I ask God to bless the hands that have made this donation” she said in Chichewa.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mangochi TOTs construct house for an epilepsy victim

By Stanley Mpasa

It was like a dream for Mary Chauya to see a group of men and women coming to her house with hoes, shovels and other building materials. At first she was afraid because she did not know the mission of the group. But these men and women were not strangers; they were the Trainer of Trainers (TOTs) who came to construct a house for her. When Mary learn t about the mission, she said it was the most exciting moment of her life.

 Mary Chauya, 63 hails from Mwalembe Village in Traditional Authority in Magnochi District. She has a history of epilepsy which stroke her when she was a teen. Her situation was aggravated when she burned her arms after unconsciously falling into the fire. One of her arms was amputated later after it failed to respond to treatment. A few years after her amputation, she fell into the fire again while cooking and burned the remaining arm. It was later amputated.
Mary, left  and her mother in front of their old house

Mary found it difficult to cope with life because she lost all the abilities that hands could do. To make matters worse, her husband deserted her. She is now the household head, looking after three children of her late sister and her aged mother. Mary’s story attracted the attention of the Maranatha TOTs in Mangochi who visited her frequently and gave her psychosocial support. The TOTs further arranged for Marys’ appearance on the popular ‘Reach out and Touch’ television program on the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. Reach out and touch program features people with most heart-rending physical conditions with the aim of appealing for support from well-wishers.  The plan worked and Mary was featured on the program. Meanwhile, the TOTs assessed the immediate needs for Mary and discovered her house was on the verge of collapsing and they took it as the most instant need. 
Marys new house

The TOTs began mobilizing resources for the construction of the house from well-wishers while narrating Mary’s story. The group managed to raise K163, 000 (about $362) enough for early stages of construction work.  The house is now almost complete and the TOTs continue lobbying for more funds to make it complete for habitation.

The ADRA Malawi TOT Project is being supported by ADRA Sweden to bring about individual and society change among the those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS