Rescue SA receives donation to assist Malawi

A team from Rescue South Africa says it will definitely be flying to assist flood stricken Malawi.

People affected by the Malawi floods boarding a rescue boat. Picture: Twitter @MalawiUNICEF.

JOHANNESBURG - A team from Rescue South Africa says it will definitely be flying to assist flood stricken Malawi thanks to a very generous donation it received this morning.

Yesterday the International Relations Department gave the rescue team the green light to deploy more than 20 rescue workers to Malawi.

Flash floods caused by days of torrential rain have swept away roads and bridges, destroyed thousands of hectares of crops and raised fears of a cholera outbreak in the southern half of the country.

Heavy rains and floods have killed 176 people and displaced 110,000, Vice President Saulos Chilima said after touring the worst-hit parts of the southern African country.

Over 20 rescue workers will arrive in that country next week.

Fifteen of the 28 national districts have already been declared disaster zones.

Over 4,000 people have been rescued while many more are feared to be trapped in inaccessible areas.

Rescue SA Chief Executive Officer Ian Scher says the donation is large enough to fly the team over by Wednesday at the latest.

However he says there is still a long way to go and is calling for more donations.

"We received a generous donation from Old Mutual and the money will assist us in getting to Malawi."

More than 200,000 people have been displaced and urgently needs assistance while over 200 are believed missing or dead.

SECOND CYCLONE TO HIT MALAWI

Malawi is bracing itself as Cyclone Sedza threatens to bring with it more widespread flooding.

Scher says his team is well prepared for any situation.

"The staff are all experienced firefighter paramedic rescuers and they understand harsh conditions. They are expecting a lot more rain so I believe we will have a lot more work to do."

Neighbouring Mozambique has also been badly hit, with a major road destroyed and the South African National Defence Force helping to search for missing people.