Displaced people camping at Goma Primary School in Chikwawa have called on well-wishers to assist them with food, tents and beddings.
The camp also lacks running water and has a few toilets, causing sanitation challenges.
Dorothy Michael, 28, said in an interview on Friday that she came to the camp on March 9, 2019 after being rescued by fishers but decries that life has been unbearable.
She said: “My four children and I had to spend the whole night in a tree because our house was destroyed by the floods. We came here with nothing and we depend on small donations from well-wishers. It’s now four days since we received anything.
“We are now forced to go out and look for pieceworks for survival but it is not easy to find work out there. We go to bed on empty stomachs and children keep crying all night,” said Michael.
Another concerned mother of seven who did not want to be named complained of dizziness and general body weakness after taking the newly-introduced antiretroviral drug regime 13A on an empty stomach.
“The drug works perfectly on me if I take it after having proper breakfast. I have tried to look for something to bite but couldn’t find anything. I had no option but to take the drugs as per requirement, that is why I just lie down,” she said.
Unlike the 5A regime, which is taken at bedtime, 13A is taken in the morning.
On his part, Village Civil Protection Committees (VCPC) chairperson Levison Alfonso said the camp, which accommodates 370 people from 28 villages under group village head Goma in Traditional Authority (T/A) Ngabu in the district, is facing numerous challenges and needs immediate assistance.
He said: “There are many challenges at this camp among them lack of food, tents and beddings. It is my plea that well-wishers come forward with assistance.”
A council official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the camp was not provided with tents because authorities planned for the displaced people to be using the classroom blocks.
On relief food assistance, the official said the office of the District Commissioner was working on modalities to provide the people with maize. n