SADF helps in flood disaster

Malawi and Mozambique hit by killer weather.

South African helicopters, medical personnel and divers have been deployed to Mozambique to help with rescue efforts as the country reels from heavy floods that have claimed hundreds of lives.

And other organisations are readying themselves to move into neighbouring Malawi, where the government estimates as many as 135 000 people have been displaced since floods hit the country’s southern region.

“Malawi is facing probably the greatest flood disaster in the history of its existence,” a Gift of the Givers’ member said.

The organisation has an office in Malawi and is coordinating its support from there.

The most affected districts are Nsanje, Chikwawa and Phalombe, all in the southern part of the tiny country.

Rescue SA chief executive Ian Scher said the organisation would move in on Wednesday. The team of 30 people are going with official assistance from the South African High Commission in Malawi and will start in Blantyre and deploy in the south from there.

They will mostly not be rescuing Malawians from life-threatening situations, but rather providing supplies.

“In my experience people are often trapped on higher ground,” Scher said.

He could not say for how long the team were going for, but said they were self-sustaining and had supplies for 14 days.

– Ulemu Teputepu and TJ Strydom

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