SA volunteers to lend a helping hand in Malawi

2015-01-19 16:29
(File: AP)

(File: AP)

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Johannesburg - Around 30 specialist volunteers of Rescue SA will head to Malawi on Wednesday to help with search and rescue operations in the flood-hit country, the non-governmental organisation said.

"We will be there for two weeks," chief executive Ian Scher said.

The volunteers were all professional emergency services workers, rather than volunteers from the general public.

The team was trained in swift water rescue, a very specialised field involving rescue in fast flowing water.

Scher said: "When we are not doing this [rescue operations] we teach fire-fighters, police, military how to do search and rescue".

Associated Press reported on Sunday that at least 176 people had been killed in the Malawi floods.

Humanitarian group the Gift of the Givers has been delivering relief parcels in the country, which include food, blankets, eating utensils and water purification tablets.

Founder Imtiaz Sooliman said on Sunday that, according to the meteorological department, the rain could last another two weeks.

Thirty-two thousand hectares of land were flooded, with 116 000 farmers affected.

"We have water rescue teams with our own equipment and boats on standby, ready to fly them in at short notice if Malawi Disaster Management confirms a need. Medical teams are also on standby."

There were also concerns of a cholera outbreak and other water-borne diseases as there was no clean drinking water, and the sewerage was contaminated.


Read more on:    gift of the givers  |  malawi  |  johannesburg  |  southern africa  |  malawi floods

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