“In solidarity”: Catholic Bishop in Zambia Appeals for Malawi’s Cyclone Freddy Victims

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The Local Ordinary of the Catholic Diocese of Ndola in Zambia is appealing for donations among the people of God in his Episcopal See in view of reaching out to those affected by the Tropical Cyclone Freddy in Malawi where at least 300 people have lost their lives. 

“In solidarity with the people of Malawi, I, now make this appeal that you make donations in the form of money and material support like clothes, shoes, beddings, mealie meal, and other usable items,” Bishop Benjamin Phiri says in his Friday, March 17 statement

Bishop Phiri provides the timeframe of the appeal, saying the donations, “should be done on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, 19th March and what will be collected should be brought to the Diocesan Pastoral Offices on Monday, 20th March 2023.”

The Southern African nation of Malawi has been most affected by the tropical storm that has been described as the longest-lived cyclone on record. 

The cyclone has claimed the lives of at least “400 people in Malawi, Mozambique, and Madagascar since it first made landfall in Africa”, according to Reuters.


The cyclone that first hit Malawi on March 12 has affected 500,000 people, including 326 who have been killed and over 183,100 people who have been displaced, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). 

Earlier, on March 14, Catholic Bishops in Malawi appealed for aid to assist victims of the storm. 

The members of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) asked all people of goodwill “to stand and feel with the victims of this devastating cyclone and immediately start to donate whatever they can, in form of money and in kind, to help the victims who have been affected and are suffering from the effects of the cyclone.”

The Catholic Church leaders asked that the collected donations be distributed to those in need “as soon as possible”. 

ECM members also called on Malawians dwelling in flood - and disaster-prone areas to move to safer grounds. 

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Malawi has been affected by tropical cyclones before. Cyclone Freddy comes a year after Tropical Storm Gombe, which claimed the lives of seven Malawians. 

In 2021, Cyclone Ana hit the Southern African nation affecting 994,967, according to the Malawi Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA).

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.