They've Lost It All. & They Didn't Have Much to Start with; GOAL AID STAFF IN MALAWI AS 10,000 FLEE THE FLOODS

The Mirror (London, England), March 26, 2008 | Go to article overview

They've Lost It All. & They Didn't Have Much to Start with; GOAL AID STAFF IN MALAWI AS 10,000 FLEE THE FLOODS


Byline: By LIAM HORAN in Malawi

IRISH aid workers on the Malawi-Mozambique border are struggling to help thousands left homeless by severe flooding.

Heavy rains have forced almost 10,000 residents living alongside the Shire River to flee their homes and villages.

And many face an uncertain future after watching their houses being washed away.

Workers from Irish aid agency Goal are trying to ease the hardship by distributing emergency food and domestic supplies to those whose lives have been turned upside down by the flooding.

Maya Bruck, a senior Goal officer in the Nsanje region of south Malawi, said: "Many of these people have lost nearly everything - their homes, and much of their property.

"They didn't have much to begin with as it is an extremely poor country and they had enough difficulty trying to get by without losing their homes and farmsteads to flooding.

"Our role is to give them food supplies and also items such as pots, pans, cutlery and cooking oil to help them through.

"They are living in camps for people displaced by the floods."

Many of those who've lost their homes are now hoping the Malawian Government will give them new lands on higher ground to avoid a repeat in the years ahead.

Edwin Mkomathambo, a villager who is being helped by Goal, said: "My wife, our seven children, and two grandchildren had to leave our home because of the flooding and travel to a camp 12 kilometres away, on higher ground. …

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