Climate change recovery and reconstruction plan requires K300bn—Chakwera

President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has disclosed that Malawi may need to mobilise a whooping K300 billion to implement a successful recovery and reconstruction plan against the adverse effects of climate change.

The estimated recovery and reconstruction budget is approximately one seventh of the national budget, which stands at K2.1 trillion.

Chakwera, who was speaking at the opening of the National Green Climate Conference in Lilongwe on Friday, disclosed that between 2015 and 2016, nearly half the population also needed humanitarian assistance from floods and droughts with costs estimated at US$994 million, which is about 14 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Dr Chakwera at the Climate Change conference

The United Nations (UN) and the United Kingdom (UK)’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) financed the conference.

In his remarks, Chakwera warned that the trend is likely to continue.

“With the situation getting worse over time, we are one country that cannot afford to take the foot off the gas in our quest to address climate change,” said Chakwera.

“That is why the guiding principle of my administration’s efforts against climate change is Collective Climate Action Now! To help reduce the rise in temperatures across Malawi, we are taking Collective Climate Action Now! To reverse the shifting time and character of our rainfall seasons, we are taking Collective Climate Action Now! To stop the destruction of our farms, crops, and food production systems caused by changing rainfall patterns, we are taking Collective Climate Action Now!” he added.

Chakwera said Malawi, as a country, has focused its response to the climate crisis and its effects on relevant, collaborative, and urgent action.

The Malawi leader bragged that, through Malawians’ commitment to this principle, Malawi has become a world leader in the race to create an environmentally sustainable society and economy.

“For my part, my vision is the creation of a Green Malawi, and I call on all citizens, public sector institutions, private sector players, and development partners to partner with my administration in stepping up efforts to make and keep the Warm Heart of Africa the greenest economy and society on the continent. A Green Malawi is not just possible. A Green Malawi is what we are building. My whole heart is in it. My whole philosophy of government is for it. Efforts are already underway towards the making of a Green Malawi,” said the President.

Malawi has over 225 organizations implementing climate change-related initiatives and interventions, and hundreds more are strategically positioned to do the same, according to Chakwera.

He said he is excited to join this army of green practitioners, stressing that this entails implementation of interventions aimed at reducing emissions; increasing investments in cleaner and greener technologies; improving access to climate information for the community you live and work in; increasing the adaptive capacity and resilience of the Malawian people; and supporting climate friendly economic and social activities such as Clean Up Days.

“In pursuit of this vision of a Green Malawi, I challenge this Conference to come up with concrete strategies and actions that are in line with our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and that will steer Malawi onto a climate resilient and low carbon pathway. Let us use this National Green Climate Conference to take stock of climate action and identify ways of working collectively on reducing climate risk, shifting the country towards a low carbon economy, taking a climate resilient development pathway, and having a green COVID-19 recovery strategy,” said Chakwera.

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