He related the story in words that seemed like fire burning deep in his heart. Few can ever imagine how he feels, or what this pain must be like.
“In just one night I lost them all,” said Stanly Kenneth. Each word seemed as though it were a death knoll. So many others can say these very same words, more than twelve hundred are gone, dead or missing, the location of their remains forever perhaps unknown. But the loss suffered by Kenneth is deeper, much larger, and more intense than for many.
While the nation mourns the death of almost 1200 people due to cyclone Freddy, Kenneth, a 32-year-old man mourns the passing of 17 of his immediate relatives.
“I still remember that night, the 9th of March. We were awakened by heavy rains, it was windy, my house had fallen in on one side. I and my family only survived by a single standing wall of our house. It was scary watching property being washed away,” narrated Kenneth.
He recalled learning about his missing relatives. How can one describe the pain? Among the 17 direct family members who were lost were his mother, father, four siblings, his elder sister, her four children and others whose houses were washed away by the rains. Some were killed in their sleep.
“I was so distraught, it was hard to believe that all the relatives and property was gone, we just had to accept it because we know someday, we too will die.”
This is just one of the stories encountered by the teams from Action for Progress as they moved into the disaster area of Southern Malawi, after cyclone Freddy. Wilson Tembo reports the devastation is something he has never seen before in his life. The President of Malawi notified the public this one single cyclone was equal to an entire season of hurricanes striking the U.S. all at one time, in one single storm.
Because of the quick response from contributors, Action for Progress has been able to go into the disaster zone and give assistance well ahead of other aid groups or government agencies. However, the need continues. Stories like Stanly are appearing frequently, and these people have no place to turn, and no one to turn to. Stanly, and so many others are still in shock, and soon it will wear off and they have no place to go. Over 2 million people have been displaced. Send assistance to: www.malawiproject.org/donate or a check or money order to: Malawi Project, 2421 Golfside Drive, Lebanon, IN 46052