By Cosmas Kaunga, ESCOM Outreach Officer
It was on March 14, 2023 at around 4:00am when members of the community around Chanza Primary School in Chiradzulu were woken up by devastating sound.
Some people thought it was the sound of heavy-duty motor vehicles approaching their area.
Little did the people know that the disturbing sound was from an explosion of water and rocks from the mountains coming their way.
Sooner than later, raging floods swept away households in the area killing people and damaging houses along the way.
One of survivors from the tragedy is Austin Maloya, who now serves as Chairperson for Chanza Primary Camp.
Maloya recalled the incident on Friday, September 22, 2023, to representatives of Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) Limited staff who visited the Chiradzulu area to donate to the floods’ survivors.
The team from ESCOM presented a donation of clothes, tablets of soap and other assorted items to the Cyclone Freddy survivors.
Maloya said most parents died while attempting to rescue their children, while more others were injured.
“As you can see, the majority of the people are children and women, and it is all because most parents lost their lives during the cyclone,” he said.
“Fourteen bodies, which were buried under mad and rocks, were recovered but 16 people are still missing. These are believed to have been washed away or are still buried under the rocks,” he said.
“There are more others who were seriously injured and some are still receiving medical treatment at Nguludi Mission Hospital,” he said.
Maloya expressed gratitude for the support they have been receiving at the camp from various institutions and individuals.
He said the donations had alleviated the suffering of the flood survivors.
Maloya further appealed for more support, saying the flood survivors at the camp are in dire need of more financial and material support.
“We would like to appeal for continued support from well-wishers especially for food items which have run out at the camp,” he said.
Representative of ESCOM members of staff who visited the area, Esther Makunganya, said the corporation’s employees were touched by the plight of the survivors of the floods.
“We know that Chanza is among the many areas that were seriously affected by the cyclone in the country, but we still felt that we could make a difference by rendering our assistance to this location,” she said.
ESCOM staff take a photo with the survivors after the donation
Makunganya addresses the gathering
The impact of Freddy still fresh