Cyclone Idai aftermath: Gift of Givers intensifies rescue operations

2019-03-20 11:12

Disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers says rescue operations in Malawi are going well.

The country, along with Zimbabwe and Mozambique, have been battling with the effects of flooding after Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique last week.

Gift of the Givers' teams are distributing essential supplies to seven out of the 11 affected districts in the southern region of Malawi.

On Monday, Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi said more than 1 000 people may have by killed in the aftermath of the cyclone, which has been described as the worst in more than 20 years.

Gift of the Givers founder, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, said the organisation was working with the Malawi Defence Force to help affected no-go areas.

"God willing, we aim to deploy water rescue teams, rescue equipment and boats to Zimbabwe tomorrow (Wednesday). We are awaiting final 'release' for some of the personnel from duty," said Sooliman.

Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique on Thursday night before moving to Zimbabwe.

Dozens have died in Malawi.

READ: Relief reaches Zimbabwe's cyclone survivors as death toll rises

In Zimbabwe, eastern Chimanimani district was worst hit. Flash floods washed away houses and bridges when the storm slammed the area.

Sooliman said a private company in Zimbabwe had offered the organisation six helicopters, two planes, pilots, four boats and 20 ambulances. It also committed to assist with the costs.

He added that Mozambique was the most challenging, saying 90% of Beira had been affected and that there was major destruction of infrastructure.

"Beyond these areas, the situation is unknown. We have deployed 40 water rescue specialists for this intervention. More personnel are on standby," he said.

ALSO READ: Gift of Givers ready to aid Mozambique amid massive cyclone

While the road leading to Beira has been washed away, the organisation said it was exploring the transporting its boats to the city on cargo planes.

Sooliman said sourcing helicopters was also one its greatest challenge.

"By far, the greatest challenge is sourcing helicopters. This is very, very expensive but extremely urgent. We are busy with options.

"Food, drinking water, medical care and shelter are an essential aspect that has to be factored in. Little children and indeed adults haven't eaten in days," he said.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  malawi  |  cyclone idai  |  weather  |  southern africa  |  cyclones

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.