CISONECC urges govt to promote transparency and accountability in climate financing

Civil Society Network on Climate Change (CISONECC) has urged the Malawi Government to promote transparency and accountability in climate financing if the country is to continue enjoying the international support.

CISONECC National Coordinator Julius Ng’oma observed that despite establishing a carbon levy to support climate change interventions through the National Climate Change Fund, the government has not yet allocated the resources accrued from the levy to the Fund.

Ng’oma, who on Monday addressed journalists in Lilongwe accompanied by Chikondi Chabvuta of Care Malawi and Mahara Nyirenda of Development Fund of Norway, lamented government’s lack of seriousness in prioritizing and action transparency and accountability in climate finance, investment in disaster risk reduction, promotion of solar-powered irrigation farming, promotion of farming as a business, promoting access to clean energy and embracing resilience building in transport and public works.

Ng’oma (holding the microphone) addressing journalists flanked by Chikondi Chabvuta (right) and Mahara Nyirenda–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu, Nyasa Times

He said Malawi should strive to promote transparency and accountability in climate finance if the country is to continue enjoying the international support, which he said is a key ingredient to the sustainability of Malawi’s development.

“Accountability and transparency of climate finance is essential to improving the sector. Putting in place measures that prevent corruption within the climate change and disaster risk management sector to avoid loss of donor support that largely funds the sector is paramount,” said Ng’oma.

On government’s investment in disaster risk reduction, he expressed the CSO disappointment that despite various players pooling over MWK7 billion prior to Cyclone Ana, the government has not made much focus to reduce the vulnerabilities of people and ecosystems at risk through disaster risk reduction.

“Years have passed with CSOs still lobbying Government to enact the Disaster Risk Management Bill to pave way for investments in disaster risk reduction. It is evident that “fixing the economic system in order to create wealth for Malawians” should include investing in DRM sector where Malawians lose wealth, they amassed throughout the year to disasters whose impacts can be prevented. In addition, “fixing the agricultural system to achieve food security for Malawians” must include investing in strong infrastructure for harvesting the runoff water for irrigation purposes after the rainfall season rather than letting it loose and destroy lives and livelihoods. Organizations and communities can implement climate change adaptation interventions but there is a need for Government to redirect the focus on disasters to disaster risk reduction!” he said.

On a positive note, the CSO leaders commended the government for embracing irrigation through implementation of programmes and projects such as the Shire Valley Transformation Programme (SVTP), Programme for Rural Irrigation Development (PRIDE), and Malawi Watershed Services Improvement Project (MWASIP) to adapt to the impacts of drought and intermittent rainfall.

They, however, said with four percent of Malawi’s population comprising people aged 65 or older, the use of manual treadle pumps is a setback considering their productive capacities.

“As such, promotion of solar-powered irrigation pumps is a must if the adaptation needs of these vulnerable groups of people are to be met. As much focus is put on the Affordable Input Programme (AIP), Government must also put much emphasis and financial support on solar powered irrigation to utilize the waters of Malawi’s lakes and rivers. This will improve our production and contribute to the achievement of food security for all Malawians,” they said.

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