Japan tips Malawi on resilience programmes during disasters

Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Kae Yanagisawa has advised Malawi Government to put more effort on resilience programmes which will help to mitigate risks that make most communities homeless each year when floods occur.

Japanese ambassador appreciating the support

Yanagisawa made the sentiments on Wednesday in Nsanje on the sidelines of inspection tour of the early recovery projects which World Food Programme (WFP) is implementing in the district.

She said Malawi can do better in protecting its citizens from different disasters including flooding if the country focuses on resilience activities instead of concentrating on response programmes which do not protect flood-affected households in disasters prone areas.

“This year’s flooding was so serious compared to the flood disasters the country has been experiencing. We thought of intervening and supporting the flood victims to recover from the disaster.

“We came in to assist to enable affected households recover from the devastation. Therefore, we should now start thinking about the root cause of disasters and plan for the future.

“Government should take action after disasters and use all available strategies to address the challenges that affect people time and again,” she said.

During the tour, Yanagisawa officially opened a rehabilitated 2.8 Km road which connects people from traditional authority Malemia and Chimombo.

Yanagisawa also distributed food rations to 100 households in Group Village Head Ngabu under Traditional Authority Ngabu which WFP is currently supporting.

“I would like to advise the Government of Malawi to put strategies in its plans and place much emphasis on recovery activities which could help more people to recover,” she said.

Yanagisawa observed that Japan is the most disaster-prone country in the world but that she is doing well in ensuring that its citizens are supported in time of need.

WFP Country Representative, Benoit Thiry concurred with Yanagisawa that there is need to come up with a strategy and plans that would help in future planning to enhance resilience.

“We help people to recover from devastating floods which rendered most of the people homeless.

“There is need to plan with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) to have Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) response plans so that we keep helping those in need to recover and also seek funds within DoDMA and other partners to support those in need,’’ he added.

A representative of Nsanje District Council, James Banda commended the activities being implemented by WFP, saying they transform livelihoods of those affected in the district.

Banda, who is District Agricultural Development Officer for Nsanje, advised community members to utilise the resources gained from early recovery activities.

WFP is assisting 170, 000 households who were affected by floods in March early this year with cash and food items in eight districts across the country.

The Japanese Government supported the activities to the tune of US$1.2 million (roughly K8.76 billion).

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