The Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) in Malawi on Tuesday donated assorted relief items to over 150 families that have been affected by flooding activities in the central region district of Dedza.
The move follows a directive which ECG leader Prophet Shepherd Bushiri made on Sunday calling on national offices in the affected countries of Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to lead in responding to disasters that have fallen these nations.
Leading ECG Malawi team, Reverend Ortis Bushiri said there is no way the church can remain silent when people are facing challenges such as flooding.
He added that the church is a place of solutions, as such, when the President of Malawi Peter Mutharika made the call, ‘we had to respond’.
“We have only managed to reach out to 150 families and we have promised to stand with them throughout until all the 8000 families have experienced the love of Christ.
We thought it wise to come and show them the love of Christ through giving and knowing that Giving is one of the core values of the ECG Church and Prophet Shepherd Bushiri ministries,” Rev Bushiri said.
Commenting on the progress, Prophet Bushiri said that he is waiting for ECG churches in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Durban to help.
“Thank you ECG Malawi for responding to disaster victims. I am waiting to hear from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Durban—let’s reach out…” he tweeted.
Governments and churches in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi are scrambling for assistance from donors and corporates as the natural disaster continues to affect millions of people in the region.
Tropical Cyclone Idai ripped through Mozambique as a high-end Category 2 storm with 175 kph (110 mph) winds on March 15 before moving inland into Zimbabwe and Malawi, affecting 1.5 million people in its wake.
Heavy rains accompanied the storm and have continued with six more inches forecast on March 19, and not expected to end until March 21, according to the Mozambique National Meteorology Institute forecast.
Aid agency officials have said that 90% of Mozambique city of Beira has been “destroyed” by the cyclone, warning that more than 500,000 people there have been impacted.
The cyclone may have killed more than 1,000 people and left 400,000 homeless near the port city of Beira in the southeastern African nation of Mozambique.
On Monday, President Filipe Nyusi said that “everything indicates that we can have a record of more than 1,000 dead.”
It may be the worst weather-related disaster ever to hit the southern hemisphere, with 1.7 million people in the path of the cyclone in Mozambique and 920,000 affected in neighbouring Malawi, U.N. officials told the BBC on Tuesday.
“The scale of suffering and loss is still not clear, and we expect that the number of people affected as well as the number of people who have lost their lives may rise,” said Jamie LeSueur of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in a statement.
Meanwhile, Mozambique has declared three days of national mourning for the victims.
Rescue crews are still struggling to reach victims, while aid groups say many survivors are trapped in remote areas, surrounded by wrecked roads and submerged villages.
In eastern Zimbabwe, grieving families are rushing to bury their dead because the cyclone has knocked out power supplies and stopped mortuaries from functioning. 98 deaths have so far been confirmed while some 172 people are unaccounted for.
An estimate of 300 Zimbabweans who were killed by the ravaging winds and waters of Cyclone Idai are reportedly floating in Mozambican rivers. The bodies were spotted floating by villagers in neighbouring Mozambique.
Local Government Minister July Moyo confirmed the sad development at a post-cabinet media briefing in Harare on Tuesday.
“The distress calls started coming from Kopa, in Rusitu where two rivers which converge there burst and we understand there are bodies which are floating. Some have floated all the way into Mozambique and some of the peasants in Mozambique were calling some of our people saying that ‘we see bodies, we believe those bodies are coming from Zimbabwe’.
The total number we were told there could be a hundred, some going as far as saying there could be 300 but we cannot confirm this situation; our army is going on foot to Rusitu in order to go and assess the situation on the ground,” said Moyo.
The number of the victims is expected to rise, according to the minister.
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