Malawi To Fly More Aid To Mozambique This Weekend

Raphael Tenthani, PANA Correspondent
BLANTYRE, Malawi (PANA) - Malawi's First Lady, Patricia Shanil Muluzi, will accompany relief supplies to be flown Sunday to the Mozambican port city of Beira to help the flood-stricken population.

A State House statement said the First Lady would inspect the devastation caused by the floods, and the gesture is to show the people of Mozambique that their neighbour is with them during this time of dire need.

Meanwhile, the commissioner for Disaster Preparedness, Relief and Rehabilitation, Lucius Chikuni, said that another plane-load of food and other relief items is expected to leave for Mozambique Saturday.

The plane, donated by a private company, Africa Air Cargo, will airlift 50 tonnes of maize, 3,000 plastic pails, 8,000 plastic plates and 200 blankets.

Chukuni said that Africa Air Cargo has offered to send five flights with relief items following an appeal by President Bakili Muluzi to individual Malawians and companies to donate generously to flood victims in Mozambique.

Malawi has already sent some relief items to Mozambique by rail.

Mozambican High Commissioner to Malawi, Jorge de Sousa Mateus, told PANA that medical drugs were becoming a priority relief need since the waters have also brought with them several waterborne diseases, like cholera.

He thanked the government for the assistance it has mobilised to help affected people in Mozambique.

In another development, the Malawian High Commission in Maputo has announced that the co-ordinator of the Malawian relief initiative, Maj. Augustine Masamba, has been put in charge controlling the relief operations in Mozambique.

"Maj. Masamba has also take control of co-ordinating urgent rescue and evacuation requirements and manage flights planning, briefing new arrival crews of the situation," it said in a statement.

Malawi initially sent two helicopters which were first deployed to the flooded Save River basin. Their daily sorties rescued over 1,000 people to safety when the disaster was just unfolding.

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