Nigeria on Tuesday began the distribution of relief materials including cash donations of $500,000 each to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe over the recent disaster caused by Cyclone Idai that left over 1.6 million people homeless.
Foreign Affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama who is on a tour of the affected countries to deliver the relief supplies began his trip from Mozambique where he handed over relief items to Antonio Tchamo, the country’s Permanent Secretary heading the National Institute of Disaster Management in Maputo.
Onyeama and the Nigerian delegation later left for Lilongwe, Malawi where he delivered another set of relief materials on Tuesday. He was received by Nicholas Dausi, Malawi’s Minister of Homeland Security and Disaster Management Affairs.
“Total donation is 30,000 tonnes of drugs, medical equipment, insecticide treated nets and the sum of $500,000”, Minister Onyeama told Malawian officials.
“PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI COMMISERATES WITH THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF MALAWI OVER THE UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT THAT CLAIMED MANY LIVES AND DISPLACED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE,”
-The foreign minister said.
The minister explained that President Buhari directed him to deliver the 8,000 medical supplies, 35 tonnes of relief materials and $500,000 each to the three countries as a show of brotherhood and solidarity to the people of Southern Africa.
“Whatever happens to any country in Africa, our pan-African sentiment is always with them. We will be with you at every step of the way towards rehabilitation and reconstruction process that will now take place,” Minister Onyeama said.
Responding on behalf of the government of Mozambique, Tchamo explained that no fewer than 1.6 million people were affected and displaced by the disaster and 603 deaths recorded.
He also said that 16,200 people sustained various degree of injuries, more than 300,000 houses destroyed, 45,000 students affected, 3,600 schools affected and 93 health centres destroyed.
“We never doubt your solidarity and brotherhood since the time of struggle against colonialism. It is in the difficult moment that we know who is surrounding us. On behalf of the government and people of Mozambique, we will like to thank the government of Nigeria for this gesture,” Tchamo said while commending Nigeria’s contributions to the liberation struggles of many countries in Southern Africa.
The Nigerian delegation, which includes officials of the country’s disaster management agency, NEMA later proceeded to Zimbabwe to deliver same relief materials.
The hurricane attack has led to many countries providing relief materials to the three countries including the World Bank which is set to extend more than half-a-billion dollars in grants.
Cyclone Idai caused catastrophic damage earlier this year that affected millions of people especially the port city of Beira in Mozambique, which is the worst affected country.
The tragedy was further compounded by Cyclone Kenneth, another cyclone that hit the country after six weeks of Idai’s devastation.