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DART Malawi deployment

Author:  DART
  22/05/2023
Last Updated:  22/05/2023

In March, Cyclone Freddy, one of the longest-lasting tropical cyclones ever recorded, caused devastation and a death toll of over 1,000 in Malawi.

Soon after it made landfall, the Malawi government invited the Disaster Arborist Response Team (DART) charity and its team of arboricultural aid workers to assist in clearing trees to provide access to vital roadways and critical infrastructure. A team was deployed.

The Arboricultural Association was proud to provide sponsorship support for the deployment and would like to thank the volunteer arborists for the incredible work they completed following the storm in Malawi. In just under two weeks the team cleared vegetation on vital roadways and provided training for the Department of Forestry team. Thank you all for your hard work. You are an inspiration and fantastic ambassadors for the industry.

Donate to DART: www.dartinternationaluk.org

DART’s updates from the deployment

22 March.

22 March.

26 March.

26 March.

30 March.

30 March.

30 March.

30 March.

18 March: DART International UK has received an invitation to assist the people of Malawi.

19 March: More than 300 people have been killed in the tragedy unfolding in Malawi. DART International UK’s team of Volunteer Tree Surgeons are getting on board to fly out to Malawi to provide vital roadway and critical infrastructure clearance of trees downed by Cyclone Freddy.

20 March: As our Deployment team hit the ground and start to get to grips with the situation here the latest news update confirms over 430 deaths from the storm.

22 March: DART Volunteers on the ground in Malawi, clearing a bridge on the M4, over the Thuchila River; a major supply route between Mulanje and Blantyre. Tasked by the Ministry of Roads and working alongside the roads department, DART volunteers are working to clear vegetation so that this key piece of infrastructure can be inspected.

24 March: Having completed their bridge clearance tasking with the Road’s Department yesterday, the team are today shifting focus to work with a forestry team in an area to the east of Blantyre.

25 March: Tasks included clearing a windblown tree from overhead electrical cables at a school in Khamula. Making schools safe, so that kids can return to education and a more normal routine, is perhaps one of DART’s most rewarding deployment jobs.

26 March: The DART team have relocated east from Blantyre to carry out infrastructure clearance work in the area around Fort Lister. Our team is delivering training and working alongside staff from the Department of Forestry Malawi.

27 March: Part of DART’s mission in Malawi was to donate equipment, PPE and training that will improve the country’s resilience to future extreme weather events.

30 March: A busy final few days of on-job training for our friends from the Department of Forestry Malawi. Yesterday they all passed a training confirmation assessment with flying colours. The DART team were delighted to work alongside such a highly motivated group of people; now better prepared and eager to put their training and donated equipment to work in the ongoing Cyclone Freddy recovery operation.


This article was taken from Issue 201 Summer 2023 of the ARB Magazine, which is available to view free to members by simply logging in to the website and viewing your profile area.