Cyclone Freddy was the tropical storm that lasted the longest on record. It killed hundreds of people and destroyed almost half of Malawi, according to President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi. In an exclusive interview, he asked for help from the rest of the world and said that there was a lot of damage to buildings.
According to Chakwera, “this demonstrates that climate change issues are real and that we are standing right in the path of them.” He went on to say that the climate crisis had the potential to keep “a nation like Malawi in perpetual poverty.” On Saturday, 438 people had died in Malawi, and families and rescue workers spent the weekend searching through mud and debris for people who had been reported missing. Often, they only used their bare hands.
“It is not just the numbers of our people who have lost their lives, but the damage and devastation,” said Chakwera, who added that while the country’s early warning system had saved lives in some lower-lying areas, it had failed in others, and the landslides that devastated the city of Blantyre had been especially unexpected. “The damage is across 13 districts, almost half the country,” he said.
He stated, “We need the assistance and support of everyone in order to lessen the impact of this tragedy.” “We are in great pain, and we are unable to fulfill the requirements. We have established makeshift camps, and while we certainly require food and housing, our immediate priority must be to move beyond those necessities and begin reconstructing in a more resilient manner in light of the damage.“
There are instances where people are still stranded and whole villages that we are unable to access because some 36 roads have been damaged and nine bridges have been washed away. “It’s not just here and there; we are at the receiving end of the worst of what climate change has to offer.” “I just have the feeling that we need to be talking about this and that we need to keep the conversation going.” It’s not as simple as telling people to be kind to their neighbors; this is about dealing with loss and destruction, and it’s about coming up with solutions that aren’t just lip service.
The former minister, who is now 67 years old, mentioned that Malawi had been struck by three cyclones within the previous 13 months. “Since the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai in 2019, we have been working hard to recover.” Then the epidemic struck, and now we must contend with Freddy. We are stuck in an endless loop of attempting to pull ourselves up, only to find that we keep falling back down.
More than 700 people died in Mozambique, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, and Malawi because of Cyclone Freddy, which started off the coast of Australia in early February and moved almost 5,000 miles across the Indian Ocean before hitting land twice in south-east Africa. Among those killed were 16 people onboard a ship flying the flag of Taiwan. Meteorologists have stated that it was the tropical cyclone that lasted the longest and traveled the farthest in documented history before it dissipated on March 15.
Chakwera stated that he went to the facilities in Blantyre on Friday. “Because of the magnitude of the trauma that people have endured, it is abundantly clear that there will be psychological needs in addition to social needs,” he said. After dealing with so much trauma, even the medical professionals require assistance for themselves.
When the storms finally stop, it will be necessary for us to assist these families in regaining their independence and standing on their own two feet. Roads, hospitals, and colleges are all necessities for our community. If that does not change, we are in serious jeopardy. The Malawian people have proven time and again that they are a hardy lot. It’s just a fact of life for so many of them that they have to grow up poor.
This is exactly what it was that we wanted to alter. The goals of this project are to instill optimism that Malawi can become a developed nation through the process of industrialization, to provide young people with more opportunities for the future than simply farming for subsistence, and to create an agriculture that is both contemporary and sustainable. We wanted to portray the country as one that is capable of standing on its own two feet, and this is the picture we wanted to paint.
Last month, Nick Hepworth, the head of Water Witness International, criticized the British government for giving less money to the £90 million Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters program in Malawi. This reduction was made as part of the UK’s 2021 cut to the aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP. BRACC stands for the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters program.
The statement that Chakwera made was as follows: “We appreciate that the British government has had its own problems.” However, beginning in 2015 and continuing up until the present day, the amount of assistance provided by the British government has been substantially cut back. “We need help, significant help from everyone, but we cannot necessarily point the finger at one government because we understand that everyone has problems.” “We ask for your assistance in this matter.”
“The devastation and impact of this are the worst we have seen yet.” Many people have told me they have never seen anything like this in their lifetimes. “The devastation and impact of this are the worst we have seen so far.” He said that people get used to disasters because there are so many problems in the world, and he urged people not to “get tired” of helping other people.
Andrew Mitchell, the British minister for development and Africa, said on Saturday that 27 members of the UK International Search and Rescue Team and six emergency medical workers had left Birmingham airport for Malawi. Mitchell’s statement came in response to the departure of the team.