“Stand, feel with victims of devastating cyclone”: Bishops in Malawi on Cyclone Freddy

Credit: Courtesy Photo

Catholic Bishops in Malawi are appealing for aid to help victims of Tropical Cyclone Freddy,  which hit the Southern parts of the country. 

Tropical Cyclone Freddy first hit Malawi on March 12 reportedly killing at least 99 people and destroying houses, roads, bridges, and other facilities. 

In a Tuesday, March 14 statement, members of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) say that they learnt “with great shock and sadness” about the devastating effects of the tropical storm that has been described as the longest-lived cyclone on record. 

ECM members all on all Catholics and 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.”

“Because of the huge scale of the calamity and the immensity of the exercise,” Catholic Bishops in Malawi say the distribution of the collected donations “should be done as soon as possible.”


ECM members ask that the donations be made “in the name of the Catholic Church” through the Small Christian Communities (SCCs), Out Station Churches, Parishes, and Diocesan Administration Offices.  

They add that the appropriate records and reports of the donations be sent to the Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) National Office.

At least 134 people have been injured and another 16 reported missing following the cyclone, which affected Malawi’s capital, Blantyre.

Blantyre has been most affected by the cyclone, which the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has described as a “very rare” storm with an  “incredible and dangerous” journey.

Following the natural disaster, Malawi’s President, Lazarus Chakwera, declared the affected parts of the country as being in a “state of disaster.”

More in Africa

The President expressed concern about the situation in the country and appealed for local and international aid to assist victims of the tropical cyclone.

He said the government is “already responding to the emergencies, rendering urgent assistance to all affected districts, and appealing for local and international support for all the families affected by this disaster.”

In their March 14 collective statement, Catholic Bishops in Malawi laud President Chakwera for his declaration. 

The Church leaders have also joined the government in calling on those who dwell in flood- and disaster-prone areas to move to safer grounds. 

They also urge Malawians to “be alert and pay heed to all official warnings and instructions that are coming from our meteorological and weather experts and, to be each other's keeper and report all incidences relating to the devastating Cyclone Freddy.” 


ECM members express their solidarity with the victims of the calamity, saying, “The Conference further joins Malawians in praying for the families that have been directly or indirectly affected by this cyclone.”

“May the Lord comfort all those who have been affected by cyclone Freddy and we ask the eternal Father to receive the souls of those who have lost their lives in this catastrophe,” Catholic Bishops in Malawi implore in their March 14 message. 

Malawi has had tropical cyclones before. Last year, the nation was hit by Tropical Storms  Ana and Gombe, which affected some 994,967 people, according to the Malawi Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA).

Madagascar and Mozambique have also been affected by Cyclone Freddy.

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.