Cabinet approves Malawi disaster policy

The Malawi cabinet has approved the National Disaster Risk Management Policy which will help in creating an enabling framework for the establishment of a comprehensive disaster risk management system for Malawi.

Chiunguzeni: Disaster policy approved

Chiunguzeni: Disaster policy approved

Principal Secretary for Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) Paul Chiunguzeni has confirmed.

The policy, according to the February 4, DoDMA update on the flood situation, would guide stakeholders in implementing programmes and activities to effectively address disaster risks hence reducing the impact of disasters in the country.

Earlier on, when President Peter Mutharika visited flood victims in the Lower Shire Valley, noted that lack of the policy had been hampering governments efforts to permanently deal with flood related disasters.

He had noted that works to have the policy started in 1991 but were facing numerous challenges.

“This work was started in 1991 with the enactment of the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act which provided the legal and institutional framework for disaster management in the country at national, district, area and village level. Because of this anomaly, we are still facing numerous challenges, in adopting a proactive and systematic approach to address disasters risks in the country,” said Mutharika.

According to Mutharika, the policy will help to sustainably reduce disaster losses in lives and in the social economic, environmental assets of individuals, communities and the nation.

With the absence of the policy, commentators have argued that government structures have not lived up to their responsibility of monitoring how and where people build their houses, where to farm and taking care of the environment in general the depletion of which has worsened the floods situation.

“As a nation, we should work to mitigate those effects now and also protect human activity upland. The policy will also help cohesion in the way relief efforts will be coordinated in future,” Chiunguzeni said.

Meanwhile, DoDMA has said it will launch and disseminate the policy soon.

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11 thoughts on “Cabinet approves Malawi disaster policy”

  1. James says:

    Look at how mountains are being turned into farmlands… my foot… govt watching or asleep. River banks bare forest all gone do.we need policy really tohandle basics

  2. James says:

    Ook at how mountains are being turmne into farmlands… my foot… govt watching or asleep. River banks bare forest all gone do.we need policy really tohandle basics

  3. special advisor says:

    Think of road safety. Deterents are put in place from different angles:
    1. Legal eg speed limit, cof, seat belts, etc
    2. Structural e.g. physical barriers like speed humps, royndabout
    3. Information eg sign post, highway code, etc
    Of all these legal comes first. You are fined for over speeding and wrecks of cars and dangerous driver are taken off the roads. Likewise, it should be illegal to engage in acts or behaviors that create high risk conditions for disaster e.g. smoking at the fuel pump. It should also be illegal for someone to engage in acts or behavior that put their own safety at risk e.g. suicide. Why are such principles not applied to disaster preparedness?
    Structural measures are at the same level of important. Somehow physical detergents create new norms that normalize the desired behaviors. We need to use these principles e.g. why is water still running on our roads. You tell me engineers don’t understand the importance of good drainage systems? And why do people still not practice good soil and water conservation practices on their gardens/farms? It should be a requirement to construct storm drains on farms. It has to be enforced. Kamuzu made it unpopular to win support, but it was technically wrong to abolish the policy. We see this popularity based policy making repeated and getting worse with Bakili in power.
    For once I think DPP since Bingu showed a more sober approach. Hats off guys. Stay the course.


    First of all I would like to recommend the cabinet for approving the policy. Research has shown that Malawi is one of the countries who are good at producing good and decorative documents/ books but using them fullest is the biggest problem/challenge. I remember we had Vision 2020. It was good but where is it now? In the same vain we should not blame the absence of the DRM policy but ourselves again. We have sister policies and acts within the government policies but they are not enforced.
    Lets look at some instruments related to that but no enforcements

    1. The National Environment Policy (NEP) adopted in 1996.
    2. Agriculture Policy
    3. Forestry Policy
    4. Malawi national Strategy for Sustainable Development-2004
    5. National Energy Policy ( 2003)
    6. The National Biodiversity and Action Plan.
    7. Water Policy
    8. The National Adaptation Programme for Action ( NAPA)
    9. Malawi growth and Development Strategy ( MGDS)
    10. Environmental Management acts.
    Just to mention a few

    If you look at the above documents then one would wonder why Malawi is still suffering this great loss. Disaster risk reduction and management need to be observed. The paradigm shift from disaster response, disaster management and now the disaster risk management is a wake up call of every individual in Malawi. The government of Malawi has spent a lot of millions in consultancies , meetings, conferences ( We just change the name of the meeting to have funds but doing the same things) but we want is results. Better not have meetings but see the results. As the president is doing reforms, we need to see the government machinery to be result oriented. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk I don’t want to say much on the wrangle between the chiefs and government on the land ownership. Its also unfortunate , uuuuuuuuuuuu I will not continue because I am also a chief at my village.

    1. We need the cabinet to discuss issues and ideas that can help Malawians and NOT people.
    2. We need long term working approaches and strategies to move out of the mess we are facing today. While the people are at camps because of floods, then other people are also forcing the government to let the people go back to cultivate yet the rains are still coming. The government is just smiling. Is it because of the policy Or Act ? Here it is now, are we expecting a change.
    3. Let us revise our emergency package. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk sometimes I laugh after seeing someone’s garden has been washed away by galley erosion, then we give him blankets, pales , basins, cooking utensils , Why not give him seed to replant.
    4. All stakeholders should follow protocol in administering the DRM activities. You will wonder a member of parliament or the minister going direct to his affected beneficiaries to do assessments, ?????????, Why the government introduced the Civil Protection Committees structures at the district, TA and GVH ( sorry , now the committee are called Disaster Risk Management Committees since the policy has been approved).

    Oh, lastly thanks everyone and wish the DRM policy will work effectively and enforcements will done as planned.

  5. in the know says:

    @ Mtonga an Act of Parliament and Policy are two different things but compliment each other. The 1991 Act should have been supported by a policy and it’s not correct to say that the Act came in as a result of some visionary leadership but rather came in in the aftermath of the Phalombe Disaster

  6. Those policies must be fully implimented not just saying we lacking policies to address these issues,yet you having something behind relating to Disaster gate.

  7. Mtunga says:

    The visionary MCP put that in place way back in 1991 but UDF under the tutalage of Bakili war was declared on Malawi environment. Tinkava tinyimbo tasamala hilengdwe nthawi ineneyo. Lero mwati mutinyenge ndi chala mumvekere Cabinet has adopted a policy – abale Malawi apanga adopt ma policy angati. Zachuluka ndi mbava kutsogolo kwa Malawi. Already there is one in place but the problem is that every new govt wants to come up with its new things oh my foot Apm.

    1. Achimidzimidzi says:

      Is this topic worth discrediting you foes? After all what is MCP doing if not just wasting our time. People predicted that you be out of government for thirty years. May be about to finish that period of wondering in wilderness.

  8. wanda says:

    Its a pity that we wait till it is worse for us to approve such bills. Think about the Access to Information Bill that is gathering dust somewhere. Honorable members, please pass a bill on liquor ban. Save our youth from early death.

  9. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Guys do you really need a policy for preparedness? My foot!!!

    If I was a law maker or enforcer, I would have said ‘ No illegal settlements along flood prone areas or river banks and no cutting of trees in those areas’

    The fact that you are preparing for disasters/ floods, it means people should continue settlements in wrong places.

    Will that policy work even if people don’t change their perception? Raise awareness of the effects of what people are doing.

    Next time it will be drought or contamination of lake Malawi or maybe earthquake and volcano. People can be trapped by fire in tall buildings and you have only one fire engine at the airport.
    Definitely, you dance a different style.Backwards stye.

    The other problem is that you people don’t have job descriptions. Therefore you have no work assigned to you. So waste time drafting crappy documents.

    Are you implementing the old one or you draft a fresh one. By yanu ija: you don’t continue anything from previous government mungawoneke wombwambwana.

    The best is to have as many ready graves as possible.

    1. Malindima says:

      Seems you have no clue of what a policy is! In the absence of a policy, a strategy can not be implemented and in the absence of these, people respond haphazardly.

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