The leader of a 4×4 vehicle owners’ club is volunteering in the Malawian city of Blantyre to help those made homeless by the floods caused by Tropical Storm Freddy.
Penjani Msowoya, the chairman of the Malawi’s Landrover Defenders Club told the BBC Newshour programme about how members have been using their 4x4s to rescue people and run missions to collect donations.
When the floods hit, they rushed to try and reach people on Soche Mountain as their vehicles were able to make it over the tricky terrain. They found devastation, he said.
“Their houses had been swept away – it’s a terrible scene. Many died,” he told the BBC.
He said they started to rescue survivors, moving them to a makeshift camp in a primary school from around 16:00 local time on Monday until 02:00 the next day.
He said they had not slept since Monday, “running up and down trying to mobilise items from Malawian well-wishers and the Indian community, they are helping us a lot”.
The group has set up a drop-off point at a Shoprite mall in Blantyre where people can donate items and the group then picks them up and takes them to the rescue camp.
“People are providing things like basic items – blankets, buckets, soap, clean fresh water, babies’ diapers – the babies are shivering because they don’t have something to put on”, he said.
The tropical storm in southern Malawi has led to the deaths of 225 people and displaced some 20,000 people.
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