Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) are continuing with their relief efforts in flood-ravaged Malawi and Mozambique.
The death toll has exceeded 600 people, the SANDF said on Wednesday, 27 March 2019.
The troops’ deployment into the two neighbouring countries followed the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai, which made landfall in Mozambique and across areas of Malawi and Zimbabwe in mid-March, leaving a trail of destruction, death and total displacements of impoverished communities.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed the troops on Saturday,16 March 2019 to support flood relief efforts with the United Nations, joint inter-departmental, inter-agency and other multinational organisations in Mozambique and Malawi.
So far, the SANDF has been conducting search and rescue missions in support of other humanitarian agencies in the two southern African states.
Using its air platforms, the SANDF has been engaged in multilateral efforts to provide life-saving and sustenance supplies to areas cut-off by the devastating cyclone, which over ran entire villages, creating temporary lakes and islands in the process.
“The SANDF is critical to all agencies operating in the area in that it provides air-lifts to assist in most low-lying areas, including Beira in Mozambique, which saw entire villages submerged under water, with death toll rising daily and many people remaining unaccounted for,” the SANDF said.