Tropical Cyclone Idai was one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa. South Africa’s neighbouring countries of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have been devastated by Idai, leaving over one million people displaced and many more thousands at risk of water-borne diseases like cholera and typhoid due to contaminated drinking water. Rotary District 9350, consisting of Rotary Clubs from South Africa, Angola and Namibia, have launched a fund to raise money for water filters to supply affected areas with much needed drinking water.
Rotary is raising funds to send a consignment of water filters to some of the worst affected areas in Zimbabwe. A water filter for a family of four costs only R600.00. “Our goal is to provide over 300 families with clean and safe drinking water,” says Shelley Finch of Rotary Club of Newlands. “Thus far, clubs across South Africa and Namibia, the Rotary SafeWater Fund, as well as three clubs in Germany, USA and UK have raised a total of R430 000.00 We’re aiming to reach R500 000.00 by 25 April and we welcome corporate as well as public donations,” adds Finch.
“It is important that funds are raised as quickly as possible to assist the disaster response teams with more resources at affected areas” says Malcolm Dodd, President of the Rotary Club of Claremont, one of the donor clubs to the disaster relief fund.
With the funds raised so far, Rotary have purchased 480 water filters (300 going to Zimbabwe and 180 going to Malawi) as well as 12 000 Nutriwell Twin Pack emergency meals which are currently en route to Rotary Clubs in Mutare (Zimbabwe) and Limbe (Malawi).
In addition, Rotary District 9350 will be sending basic medical supplies for which there is a desperate need. These include surgical gloves, bandages, syringes, plasters and sutures to ensure that the wounded can be attended to. Hospitals and medical facilities are struggling to cope thanks to a lack of basic equipment.
Disaster response team, Shelterbox arrived in Malawi on Friday, 22 March 2019 to assist with relief efforts by dispatching water filters and mosquito nets. Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique have all been declared a State of Disaster, and a call has been made to international organisations to help these governments to provide relief to affected areas. Shelterbox have limited resources to help everyone therefore are targeting the area where their assistance will be most effective. There is a large-scale humanitarian response underway in Mozambique, involving major disaster relief agencies and aid imported before the cyclone hit.
“Please give whatever you can and help us extend a hand of kindness and friendship to those in need,” adds Finch. To donate to the Cyclone Idai disaster relief fund, please follow this link.