SA NGOs mobilise to assist flood-devastated Malawi, Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

Two SA NGO's are mobilising to provide help and relief in flood hit Malawi and Ebola stricken Sierra Leone.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Two NGOs are mobilising to provide help and relief in flood-stricken Malawi and Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone.

Rescue South Africa says its team of about 30 people will leave for Malawi on Wednesday where torrential rain and floods have killed hundreds of people and left thousands more displaced.

More than 200 people have been confirmed dead and others are still missing.

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.

The relief group says its taking 13 Swiftwater rescue specialists with inflatable boats to the country.

Another typhoon is expected to make landfall there this week but Chief Executive Officer Ian Scher says they're ready to hit the ground running.

"We're taking inflatable boats with us so we can move people from high ground or stranded in some areas and move them to safe areas."

The weather service is warning of more heavy rain in the next two to three weeks.


At the same time, health NGO Right to Care has recruited its first team of medical professionals who will join the global fight against Ebola.

Teams of nurses, doctors and paramedics will be deployed to Sierra Leone, which is one of three countries at the centre of the Ebola outbreak.

According to the World Health Organisation, Ebola has claimed more than 8,300 lives in West Africa.

Young healthcare professionals have gathered at the Helen Joseph Hospital to showcase some of the training they have undergone in preparation for their service in Sierra Leone.

Professional nurse Neo Mokone says while her family has been supportive others believe she is putting her life at risk.

Right to Care officials say it is time for South Africa to take a more active stance in the fight against Ebola.

The team of 11 is expected to leave for Freetown, Sierra Leone on Friday where they will remain for the next eight weeks.

Guinea today reopened its schools which had been closed for the past 10 months due to the virus.