Flood relief in Zambia

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The Salvation Army provides assistance to victims.

by Mary Mizinga, Captain –

An expectant mother and flood victim selects from donated clothing at a distribution area.

Following recent floods in southern Zambia, The Salvation Army organized immediate relief support as well as long-term assistance plans.

Immediate assistance for people in the communities of Magoye and Chitongo, where victims have been placed in camps, includes food, clothing and personal hygiene items.

Flood victim widow Belita Malambo described the scene: “It was at night when the water came and as we were trying to jump out of our beds, we found water all over. I could not grab anything from the house as it was beginning to collapse so I just grabbed my three grandchildren and ran to high ground with them. My goats and chickens were all gone. My livestock was my source of income as I used to sell them to raise money to send my grandchildren to school after the death of their parents. I don’t know where I will find food, clothing and shelter when all this is over and we return to our village. I don’t even know if I will go back there because there is nothing for me to go back to.”

The Mazabuka district commissioner said help is still needed, including supplies such as chlorine to help prevent water-borne diseases. He explained that more tents, mosquito nets, blankets, food and clothes are necessary since people keep arriving at the emergency camps as houses continue collapsing under the heavy rains. People at the camps in Magoye and Chitongo are sharing one non-waterproof tent between three families along with whatever belongings they could save.

The health department is fumigating the camps and the Red Cross has set up toilets and cooking shelters for the victims at each camp.

Long term needs will be even greater, as crops, livestock and homes will need to be replaced.

Captain Mary Mizinga is assistant social secretary in the Zambia Territory.

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