The Japanese Government on Tuesday donated disaster response and relief equipment worth K1.8 billion to Malawi for improvement of capabilities to cope with natural disasters caused by climate change.
The donation follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding in 2010 between the government of Japan and Malawi Government to mitigate the harsh impact of climate change.
Speaking at the handover ceremony in Lilongwe, Charge D’ Affairs at the Embassy of Japan, Shigenobu Kobayashi, said the programme aimed at sharing Japanese techniques and experience in the field of disaster prevention and water supply management.
He said there had been reports recently of flooding and dry spells that had caused many people to lose their crops and property both in Malawi and the world over, resulting in food insecurity and massive poverty.
He said the negative impact of climate change could never be underestimated.
“There is need to formulate measures for mitigating the impact of climate change and also cope with natural disasters, a decision that will change our future for the better,” Kobayashi said.
The donated equipment included three water bowsers, mobile treatment plants, one dozer, an excavator, a wheel loader, one pad foot roller, two dump trucks, one low bed truck, three generators, one set drilling rig and accessories, two sets high air compressors, four flat lorries, and spare parts.
The machines are also expected to enhance access to clean water for Malawians.
“These types of machinery are capable of assisting in the improvement of the environment during emergencies and also strengthening river banks to control flooding,” Kobayashi said.
Speaking on behalf of the Malawi Government when he received the donation, Minister of Water Development and Irrigation, Ritchie Muheya thanked Japan for the donation.
He said the equipment assist government of Malawi in its effort to mitigating water-related disasters and providing relief to those affected by natural disasters.
“The equipment will go a long way in mitigating disasters and indeed is timely response to disasters when they hit,” Muheya said.
He said that as one way of dealing with the effects of climate change, there was need to construct infrastructure that would help in adapting to the effects of floods and droughts which Malawi experiences every year.
“Some of the adaptation and mitigation measures to water-related disasters would be river training, construction of dykes, dams, levees and dredging,” Muheya said.
The Government of Japan is also helping address the climate change issue through an on-going K1.7 billion forest preservation programme and another project for the introduction of Clean Energy by Solar Electricity Generation System at the Kamuzu International Airport worth K2.3 billion.
More than K10 billion has also been disbursed by the Government of Japan through initiatives to address impacts of climate change in the country.
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