Conglomerate Press Corporation Limited plc and its subsidiary companies have donated both food and non-food items worth about K210 million to Cyclone Freddy survivors in various camps in Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Chikwawa and Mangochi districts.
Members of staff from the PCL corporate office and various subsidiary companies with the help of Malawi Red Cross Society officials and volunteers started the distribution of the items in Chiradzulu and Mulanje on Monday before trekking down to Chikwawa on Wednesday and finally to Mangochi Friday.
Speaking when presenting the items to the victims at Chitera and Mbulumbuzi camps in Chiradzulu on Monday, the conglomerate’s Chief Executive Officer, Ronald Mangani, said they felt touched to give the Government a helping hand following a declaration of the State of Disaster by President Lazarus Chakwera on 13 March 2023.
Cyclone Freddy has claimed more than 500 lives while more than 300 people are missing. It has also displaced and injured thousands of people, mostly in the Southern Region of the country.
Mangani said in an interview on the sidelines of the donation in Chiradzulu that the cost of the PCL-group wide response to the disaster has now gone up to K210 million from the K180 million that the conglomerate committed earlier last week.
“These items are donated by all companies under the Press Group, we consolidated an effort in that regard to make sure that we assist the victims of Cyclone Freddy. The impact of the Cyclone has been devastating.”
“As PCL we recognize that most of those affected are customers of our products and we want to say that we are with them in spirit. We hope that God will continue to protect them. We console those that have lost friends and relatives, and hope that they will have the courage to move on. We further hope that this phase will pass, and want to give them the encouragement to continue picking up the pieces and moving on with their lives,” said Mangani.
Emily Wyson from Chikanga Primary School camp in Chiradzulu commended PCL for the support, saying she has lost her house.
“Life at the camp is not easy since we lost everything in our homes. I got injured when my house fell down but, fortunately, I managed to rescue my four kids. Here at the camp, we are exposed to various diseases including Malaria. With this donation, I am assured that my kids will have food to eat and some items to start afresh when we return to our various places,” she said.
Some of the donated items are blankets, kitchen utensils and different food items, including maize flour.
Press Corporation plc is one of the largest holding companies in the country and has interests in different sectors of the Malawi economy including financial services, telecommunications and energy. Its subsidiary, associate and joint ventures include blue chip companies like the National Bank of Malawi (NBM), Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) plc, Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company Limited (Limbe Leaf), Macsteel, Puma Energy, Ethanol Company (Ethco), Press Cane, LifeCo, Press Properties, Open Connect Limited (OCL), Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL), and The Foods Company Limited (TFCL, also known as Maldeco).