TUM in K11 Million Cyclone Freddy Response

Kamaliza in green golf shirt presenting relief items to teachers Kamaliza in green golf shirt presenting relief items to teachers - pic by Alfred Guta

The Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) has bailed out 250 teachers who were severely affected by tropical cyclone Freddy in the country’s four districts.

TUM has assisted 73 affected teachers in Nsanje with flour and cooking oil and will also reach out to teachers in Blantyre, Mulanje and Chiradzulu districts, TUM Programs Coordinator, Pilirani Kamaliza has disclosed.

“TUM exists to advocate for improved working conditions for teachers. It is a membership organization so we thought it wise to console and provide psychosocial support to the affected teachers.

“So we were told that Tropical Cyclone Freddy had affected some of our members hence the distribution of maize flour and cooking oil. Apart from advocacy, we do capacity building but also solidarity activities,” explained Kamaliza.

According to Kamaliza, TUM has partially supported the activity from membership fees but also Education International through solidarity funds to the tune of 10,000 Euros about K11 million.

He underscored the need to consider teachers as well when disasters of such nature strike saying much as they are on government payroll they also deserve support to recover from shocks citing Cyclone Freddy which directly and indirectly affected the teachers.

He spoke on Tuesday at Mpatsa Primary School, one of the severely hit schools in Nsanje district where he presented the relief items to 73 teachers who were affected by the Cyclone.

The district’s Chief Education Officer, Macshades Dakamau, has hailed the move saying the cyclone hit the education sector hard.

“The disaster affected about 28,448 learners in about 80 schools. More than 80 teachers were affected. Lessons were suspended as we lost teaching and learning materials including books among others, besides, some classroom blocks and toilets were damaged as a result,” explained Dakamau.

He further disclosed that initially they opened 88 schools of the district’s 104 schools saying learning has just resumed in the remaining 16 schools which were hit hard by the Cyclone with four only attending to standard eight learners.

Dakamau told Zodiak Online, “we have agreed with parents to construct temporary toilets so learners in the remaining classes can start accessing lessons.” 

Ireen Kanaventi, a deputy head teacher at Mpepe Primary School, has described the support as timely. “I lost my property following the disaster. We also deserve humanitarian support despite being on government payroll, the salary cannot suffice,” she claimed.

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