Malawi government must turn the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) into a ministry, Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA) deputy country director, Michael Usi has suggested.
“The issues therein managed by the department are too big for the office, they are supposed to be handled at a ministry level,” Usi raised this in an interview.
He was speaking in Blantyre on the sidelines of a 23-country weeklong training on emergency preparedness and disaster response, organized by ADRA.
Malawi is one of the countries in the world where disasters such as heavy rains – flooding – and droughts are on the rise due to climate change, which Usi observe requires heavy funding.
“By reducing it to a department there are a lot of implications including funding. The funds that go to a department cannot be compared to funds that go to a ministry.
“Disaster management or recovery processes require big budgets, which cannot be handled at a department level,” he gave one major reason to his recommendation.
ADRA Malawi is one of the stakeholders that have been working with the government for years in time of disasters and emergencies.
During last year’s floods that hit most parts of the country, ADRA mobilized K240 million channeled towards alleviating the suffering of the victims.
“We have worked very well with the government, they have supported us as ADRA, but I ask the President to consider this plea,” added Usi.
DoDMA is under the Malawi Vice President’s office and Scholastica Chidyaonga is the director responsible for disaster response and recovery.
Chidyaonga admitted there was need for Malawi as a country to improve in emergency response and disaster management.
She said: “There’s always room to learn from what we have done better and where we haven’t done well and improve. As a department we are doing our best. Disasters, El Niños are here to stayand as government we have put in place plans to improve our response and recovery.”
Speaking on Monday during the opening the training, ADRA international Emergency Management Technical Advisor, Robert Patton, called for intensive efforts in addressing challenges emanating from disasters.
“We need to be well prepared, that’s the key to effective response to disasters,” he said while highlighting that countries need to focus on prevention of man-made disasters, saying “it is better to prevent than allow disasters to happen.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :