Flood waters from recent cyclonic rains in the south of Malawi where Illovo’s Nchalo factory and agricultural operations are situated have begun to recede allowing government officials, relief agencies and local NGO’s the opportunity to count the full cost of what has been classified by the government as a “State of Disaster”.
Clean water for drinking and cooking is being provided by Illovo Malawi to some 3 000 residents of the newly-established relief camps on company land, via mobile water tanks
The lower Shire Valley is the region most affected by the cyclonic activity. This commenced mid-January and brought with it heavy rains to the area amounting to around 550 mm. It represented almost three times the long term mean for the month. At the most recent count, more than 250 deaths have occurred with an estimated 200 000 people displaced in what has been described as the worst floods since 1967. Relief assistance is being provided by the government supported by a range of NGO’s, including Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF), the Red Cross, UNICEF and others. Illovo Sugar Malawi is working closely with the Malawi government in their relief operations and to date has:
Sekeni Camp 2, on land provided by Illovo Malawi for the housing of flood victims, adjacent to Illovo’s Nchalo cane and factory operations in the Lower Shire Region
- • Provided company-owned land at Nchalo for three relief camps housing around 3 000 displaced people;
- • Supplied clean water to the camp inhabitants (at Sekeni in the Lower Shire region) as well as medical services where these are required;
- • Made donations of tarpaulins (used for making shelters), sugar, five tons of maize and sizeable cash contributions for relief efforts, and is providing electricity to the various camps via standby generators;
- • Provided access to the company’s air strip for the Malawi Defence Force as a base for rescue operations and for their accommodation needs.
While several of Illovo Malawi's cane fields (under pivot irrigation) were flooded, the potential cane supply loss of cane to the company and that of its smallholder Malawian outgrowers in the coming 2015/16 season is negligible.
Aside from other substantial relief efforts, Illovo Malawi has contributed to relief funds in order to assist flood victims. Captured at the presentation here are: the Member of Parliament for Chikwawa Central Zaheer Gaffer Issa, Traditional Authority N’gabu, District Commissioner for Nsanje Harry Phiri, Corporate Affairs Manager for Illovo Malawi Walter Nyamilandu-Manda, District Commissioner for Chikwawa Alex Mdooko and Human Resources Manager for Illovo’s Nchalo Estate Jeromy Ngolombe