The Nigerian Government, on Monday in Lilongwe donated 30,000 tonnes of drugs, medical equipment, insecticide treated nets and 500,000 U.S dollars to the Republic of Malawi, that was hit by a tropical disaster called Cyclone Idai.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, who led the delegation of Nigerian Government handed over the relief materials to Mr Nicholas Dausi, the Minister of Homeland Security and Disaster Management Affairs of the Republic of Malawi.
Onyeama said Nigeria had a special duty and responsibility to be a big brother in Africa, adding that any tragedy or misfortune that befalls any African country in Africa or outside the continent befalls Nigeria and it was a burden for the country.
“We share this burden and the loss with you in this country.
“When the hurricane happened, Nigeria was conducting election, nevertheless, President Buhari instructed us that as quickly as possible we had to mobilise resources to bring to this country.
“We mobilised over 8,000 medical items, equipment to assist and also cash donation of 500,000 U.S dollars.
“The amount is huge, 30, 000 tonnes of items , which will be transported to Malawi in the next one or two weeks maximum.
“Some of our big transporters C130 will deliver the equipment may be in two trips but we sent some of the equipment with a small plane, for this occasion,” Onyeama said.
The Minister, therefore, extended the sympathy and commiseration of President Muhammadu Buhari to the people of Malawi, over the unfortunate incident that claimed many lives and displaced thousands of people.
“Please, accept our deepest sympathy and the statistics are very disturbing, 86 000 people displaced, with some deaths and injured.
He said Nigeria during the years of apartheid in South Africa was considered a front line state because it was part of the struggle for the elimination of apartheid.
Responding, Mr Nicholas Dausi, Minister of Homeland Security and Disaster Management Affairs of the Republic of Malawi, thanked government of Nigeria for the assistance , which would go a long away to help victims of the disaster.
“On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Malawi and the people that are scattered across 67 camps in the disaster and over 886,000 people affected, i want to sincerely express our deep thanks for your thoughtfulness.”
He said Malawi had benefited a lot from Nigeria in the areas of education and other sectors since 1960, adding that Nigeria had rendered both human and material support to Malawi during the struggle to end apartheid.
He congratulated President Buhari for winning the recently concluded Presidential election and wished him a successful second tenure.
The Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, who described the situation as very devastating, said the relief items couldn’t have come at a better time than now.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that March 8, was a tragic day for the people of Malawi as “flooding triggered by heavy rainfall caused death of at least 60 persons and displaced not less than 86,000 houses and public infrastructure , including farmlands destroyed’’. (NAN)