The Emergency Telecommunications Operation Center (ETOC) which was established by MACRA with support from the government in recognition of the important role of communication during emergencies and disasters has facilitated the activation of a toll-free number 115 which has been set to handle inquiries and coordination of Cyclone Freddy activities.
Cyclone Freddy survivors can now call the toll-free number and communicate with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) on issues related to the cyclone. The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) allocated the toll-free number to the DODMA in the year 2020 following an application on the same.
The toll-free number is under the category of Emergency Services Number.Meanwhile, World Food Programme (WFP) has donated ten handsets to DODMA to be used for the same. Airtel and TNM have provided sim cards for the phones. The tropical Cyclone has left hundreds dead, various others still missing, thousands displaced, and property as well as infrastructure severely damaged rendering communication in other parts impossible.
ETOC is comprised of representatives from telecommunication operators, Blantyre City Council, DODMA, WFP, ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM), MACRA, and other stakeholders.