Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) students under the Society of Disaster Risk Management (MSDRM) on May 4, 2019 visited Magombo village in Mulanje where they supported the displaced people at one of the camps there.
The students, who supported 50 families with relief items worthy K125,000 were directed to the camp by Mulanje District Council officials as it was the smallest in the district.
According to MSDRM president Samuel Chikaluma, each household received soya pieces, salt, sugar, soap, plastic cups and plates.
“As s society we advocate for climate change and related issues with a bias towards common disasters that have rocked the nation in recent years. As students studying Disaster Risk Management, we found it also interesting to analyze how those affected respond to the impact and in this regard, humanitarian activities are part of our objectives,” said Chikaluma.
He said they were also concerned with the plight of people affected by floods across the country and were compelled to offer support.
“MSDRM chose to support those in Mulanje because it was one of the affected districts and was closer to the university. We mobilized resources through various fundraising activities and collecting some items from staff members and students. In the end, we had enough resources to share with our friends,” said Chikaluma.
He said they worked with a Mr Sayenda of Mulanje District Disaster office who shared information on some of the requirements.
“The trip was not without challenges. As we left Mulanje boma for the camp, we soon realized the road was bad and we had to ask families at the camp to meet us at some school where we distributed the items.
“But it was an important trip as it accorded us a practical experience with the victims who explained to us on how they respond to disasters and also gave us a general overview of how the camps are managed and also some of the challenges experienced within the camps. This type of information will indeed help us to come up with better ideas of managing such camps. The experience will also compliment the theory we learn in class and prepare us for future tasks ahead when we leave college,” said Chikaluma.
He said the people at the camp were very thankful for the donation, especially coming from students who also look up to parents or guardians for support.
The society was established in 2016 but registered in 2017.