THYOLO, MARCH 13, 2015(CISA) – Malawi bishops are making solidarity visits to flood-hit areas to deliver aid items to those affected.
The floods which occurred in January have displaced more than 230,000 from their homes mostly in the country’s southern and central regions.
During the visits representatives from each of Malawi’s eight dioceses delivered money, clothes, food, and non-food items valued at 1 billion Malawian kwachas, or $2.2 million. The aid was collected from Catholic parishes and institutions across the country reported CNA.
“We commend the oneness and unity in joy and tribulation which the Catholic Church in Malawi has shown, and we continue to ask well-wishers to keep contributing towards this noble cause,” Archbishop Thomas Msusa of Blantyre said on March 10 during an event held in the Thyolo district.
“The demand for relief items in the affected 15 districts is still huge,” he added at the visit to displaced persons living in shelter camps in the area.
According to Archbishop Msusa, the Malawi bishops had designated February 8 “as a special Sunday for the collections of relief items to support thousands of our brothers and sisters affected by the floods,” adding. “We dedicated all the collections for the AMECEA thanksgiving Mass January 31 towards the support of the flood victims.”
Fr Emmanuel Chimombo, acting secretary general for the Malawi bishops’ conference appealed to the Catholic faithful in leadership positions to “live to their Christian values by advocating for the poor, as well as resilient building policies so that events like these disasters do not always catch Malawians off guard.”
The UN estimates that the two weeks of heavy rain in January claimed more than 275 lives and displaced more than 230,000 persons from their homes in 15 of Malawi’s 28 districts. The flooding washed away more than About 64,000 hectares (158,147 acres) of farmland in the country where agriculture accounts for 30 percent of GDP.
On January 24 Pope Francis sent a message of solidarity to the country, assuring Malawians of “his prayers for the victims, their families and all affected by this catastrophe.”