Agnes Kalongonda, a 44-year-old widow from T/A Nkhulambe in Phalombe district, found herself in dire straits after Tropical Cyclone Freddy wreaked havoc on her life.
"Since the disaster, I have been struggling to source food to feed my six children and my 73-year-old grandmother," she tearfully recounted.
Agnes lost her crops to the devastating floods, leaving her with no means to provide for her family. She had to rely solely on the kindness of her neighbors to put food on the table. However, a glimmer of hope arrived when she received assistance amounting to K80, 000 from the Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD) in the wake of the disaster.
With this lifeline, Agnes hurriedly made her way to ADMARC to procure maize, which would provide much-needed relief to her family. Her emotional journey reflects the struggles faced by many families in Phalombe District.
With funding from the FORD Foundation, CARD is implementing a comprehensive five-month response and recovery project aimed at aiding households affected by Tropical Cyclone Freddy, specifically in the areas of Traditional Authorities Nkhulambe and Phweremwe. This vital initiative seeks to support 500 affected households in their time of need.
One of the immediate measures taken by CARD was to provide a one-time cash assistance of MK80,000.00 to all 500 households affected by Cyclone Freddy. This cash injection is intended to enable families to procure essential items such as maize, cooking oil, and beans, providing much-needed sustenance.
Furthermore, the project will not stop at addressing immediate food requirements. It will also integrate a recovery program that involves providing agricultural inputs to help affected households rebuild their lives.
In addition, CARD plans to provide temporary shelter kits to 254 households who lost their homes during the cyclone. In the final phase intervention, CARD will extend a helping hand to all 500 families with a precious gift - five bundles of sweet potato vines for crop production.
For families like Agnes Kalongonda's, this cash support has proven to be a lifeline in the midst of adversity. As Phalombe District strives to recover from the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Freddy, these initiatives bring hope and much-needed assistance to the most vulnerable in the community.