By Alexander Juma, a Contributor
Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) has committed K100 million towards survivors of Cyclone Freddy which has claimed more than 500 people and displaced thousands of people in the Southern Region districts.
After donating various food and non-food items worth K20 million in Phalombe District at the weekend, PIL announced that it has topped up K80 million more which will be channeled through World Vision International to buy more relief items for the survivors.
Speaking during the official handover ceremony of the money to World Vision International on Tuesday in Blantyre, PIL General Manager, Martin Msimuko said the directors of the company made the decision to top up the money after assessing the dire situation in Phalombe following the call by Government through a declaration of the State of National Disaster in some districts of the Southern Region by President Lazarus Chakwera last week.
“Being responsible corporate citizens, our shareholders (Total, Puma, Petroda and Vivo) decided to respond favourably to this call. We are aware that any gift, no matter how big, will never replace the loved ones that have been lost in this disaster. PIL reiterates its commitment to supporting government efforts in responding to disasters and other areas, including education, health, and safety, which are core areas of their corporate social responsibility,” said Msimuko.
World Vision International’s director of programs, Tobias Oloo, praised PIL’s generosity, saying that the donation would help provide food, shelter, blankets, and sanitary materials to people in the affected districts.
“The donation from PIL’s will go a long way in helping the victims of Cyclone Freddy in the southern region of the country. With lack of sanitation and congested schools there is a risk of Cholera, the timely intervention by PIL will help alleviate the suffering of the affected people,” said Oloo.
On Saturday, PIL donated goods worth K20 million to Cyclone Freddy survivors camping at Naminjiwa Community Technical College, Naminjiwa CCAP Primary School, and Ndungunya Primary School camps in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Kaduya.
During the event at Naminjiwa Community Technical College evacuation camp, one of the survivors camp Vaileti Kunashe commended PIL for the support, while calling for more donations saying the situation is dire.
“I have four children and two twin grandchildren less than a year old who were left by my late daughter, yet I have lost my house. Life is tough for me and others in similar situations here at the camp. We barely had food, but PIL has given us a hand. We just plead for more, especially health authorities to consider us with medication for various ailments as we cannot travel to the hospital leaving the kids behind with nobody to look after,” she said.
Some donated items include basins, rice, sugar, salt, soya pieces, blankets, cooking oil and milk.
Total Energies donated 400 solar lamps to the three camps in Phalombe on Saturday.