Telecoms operators donate K20.5 m towards flood victims
By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi
The Association of Telecommunications Operators (ATOL) which comprises Access Communications Limited, Airtel Malawi Limited, Telekom Networks Malawi Limited (TNM) and Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) has donated K20.5m towards the relief assistance going to communities affected by floods and hailstorm in the country.
According to Vice President Saulos Chilima who is heading the Department of Disaster Management Affairs an estimated 638,000 people translating into 116,000 households have been affected. Of these 121, 000 people have been displaced and close to 200 have died due to flooding and rainstorms that hit Malawi’s 15 districts between January 11 and January 13, 2015.
Many homes have also been lost, businesses destroyed, farms damaged and property washed away.
ATOL Chairperson, newly appointed MTL CEO Harry Gombachika said this clearly paints a picture of the depth of the grief this state of disaster has caused in the lives of people in all dimensions thus socially, economically and spiritually.
He disclosed that ATOL has since established a toll free number of 115 for public use and urged all citizens to utilize it for effective communication of the disaster.
He said this when he presented the donation to the Principal Secretary responsible for Disaster Management Affairs Paul Chiunguzeni.
“Government cannot work alone in this mission and as players in the business sector, we want to take a leading role in mobilizing and raising funds to help in mitigating the impact of the disaster,” he said.