Dar es Salaam. Tanzania said on Tuesday, March19, 2019 it was sending urgent relief supplies to aid victims of a deadly cyclone that has ravaged parts of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi.
Foreign affairs minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi said Tanzania will dispatch a total of 24 tonnes of medicine, 17 tonnes of rice and 200 tonnes of maize to help thousands of people displaced by flash floods.
The minister said Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique will each receive eight tonnes of assorted drugs in addition to seven tonnes of rice to Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Some 200 tonnes of maize will be donated to Malawi.
More than a 1000 people are feared to have died in a cyclone that smashed into Mozambique last week. Scores were killed and more than 200 are missing in neighbouring Zimbabwe.
Prof Kabudi said Tanzania contacted the presidents of the respective countries and decided to help in the spirit of advancing the unity in Southern African Development Community (Sadc).
“We are saddened by the reports of loss of lives and of people being left homeless by this cyclone,” he said, calling upon Tanzanian individuals as well as public and private organisations to consider helping too.
Health minister, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, said the ministry prepared the medical requirements comprised antibiotics, dehydration medicines and water purification solution.
The assistance will be delivered by the Air Force Command of Tanzania Peoples’ Defence Forces (TPDF).
The Command’s head of operations Brigadier General Francis Shirima said all the supplies will reach the designated countries on March 19, 2019.
Representing their countries, ambassadors from the three countries were Glad Chembe Munthali (Malawi), Martin Tavenyika (Zimbabwe) and Monica Patricio Clemente (Mozambique).
The city of Beira in central Mozambique bore Cyclone Idai's full wrath on Thursday last week before the storm barrelled on to neighbouring Zimbabwe, unleashing fierce winds and flash floods and washing away roads and houses.
"For the moment we have registered 84 deaths officially, but when we flew over the area... this morning to understand what's going on, everything indicates that we could register more than 1,000 deaths," Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said in a nationwide address.
"This is a real humanitarian disaster," he said. "More than 100,000 people are in danger."
Survivors have taken refuge in trees while awaiting help, the president added.
In neighbouring Malawi, floods killed 122 people and left thousands more without shelter, according to the Prof Palamagamba Kabudi.