When disaster turns to tragedy


As thoughts turn from relief work to rebuilding, it is important to consider the psychological effects of the floods on people as well as the physical. One of Sports Friends coaches, Mausa Jackson from Makhanga on the east bank of the Shire River, runs a football team in the village and he tells of how he and his team had to be rescued by helicopter and boat as the flood waters rose.

Many homes in the village were damaged or destroyed and it was a traumatic time for people as they tried to escape the rising water and get to safety. Mausa tells the story of one young boy, Billy (left) and the trauma he went through as he tried to get to safety.

The boy, aged ten or 12 years old, was wading through shallow water to get to the rescue boat which was moored a little way out in the river. He was being taken to the boat by his grandfather.

 It was at this point that tragedy struck, as the boy’s grandfather was attacked and killed by a crocodile. The boy wanted to help his grandfather but had to be taken away from the danger by other people fleeing for the safety of the boat.

This story was reported to Malawi Amoto by Sports Friends Fostance Mtolo. He said: “Mausa’s football team often went around the area of the east bank playing football and sharing the Gospel of Jesus. Mausa is hopeful that they will be able to do this again, but he also realises that the boys will need a lot of counselling because of what they have seen and experienced through the floods and their aftermath.”

There are probably many more similar stories to this young boy’s, and it is important that we pray for the psychological healing of people affected by the floods as well as their physical recovery.

The town of Makhanga itself is still isolated as a result of the floods, which caused one river to completely change its course as the original channel silted up with sand washed down from the mountains.

Volume 2: Issue 5
Webpage icon Malawi Amoto Editorial
Webpage icon Trusting that God knows what he’s doing!
Webpage icon Spiritual Life Conference 2015
Webpage icon From Relief to Rebuilding
Webpage icon ‘Tiyamike’ Let us give thanks