Malawi Govt sets aside K76bn for disaster response

Malawi Government has set aside over K76 billion for mitigating effects of disaster as the country is nearing rainy season.

Commissioner for Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma), Charles Kalemba, disclosed this in Dedza during the commemoration of this year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR).

This year commemoration focuses on the 7th target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030.”

People marching to commemorate this year’s disaster day

On the other hand, the theme for this year’s commemoration is: “Early warning and early action for all”.

Kalemba said this year’s IDDR commemoration aims to ensure that appropriate early warnings are timely and consistently received, well understood and acted upon by the intended audience with the goal of reducing losses and damages resulting from disasters.

“In commemorating the day, we are also aiming at bringing awareness on the global targets reflected in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Each year, from 2016, we have been focusing on one target of the Sendai Framework, what has been termed as the Sendai 7 campaign, 7 targets for 7 years. This has been the practice for the last 6 years and this year being the last year,” he said.

He said this year’s theme is of significance considering the number of disaster events that have claimed precious lives, eroded economic gains and disrupted service delivery across the country.

Kalemba lamented that Malawi continues losing lives despite the investments the country has made in the early warning system.

He, however, commended donor partners such as World Bank through the Malawi Resilience and Disaster Risk Management Project, Government of Malawi, World Vision Malawi; Care International; Save the Children; International Organisation for Migration; United Purpose in collaboration with Self Help Africa, COOPI, Concern World Wide; and Malawi Red Cross Society for always being friend in the timely need.

In his remarks, Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, urged Malawians to pay attention to details regarding the early warning messages, which will be provided.

Chimlambe assured that Malawi Government is ready to respond to this year’s disasters.

School children carry placards with messages on climate change and early warning systems

Speaking during the event, Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) Director of Programs, Prisca Chisala, who represented all partners, promised that the partners will continue to support the Malawi Government in order to implement the disaster strategies.

Chisala said as partners to government, they are working towards supporting the department to disseminate the weather forecast to all the districts.

“Another key message, Sir is encouraging the households living in disaster prone areas to move to higher and safer places. This remains paramount as a preparedness action,” she said.

She further disclosed that MRCS is working with the Department of Disaster Management (DoDMA) to review the contingency plans, which will be critical in supporting preparedness actions at different levels.

“It is our duty to ensure that the communities are prepared ahead of the forecasted weather and that they take the timeliest required action.

Some of the activities being implemented at community level are building the capacity of civil protection structures at all levels, provision of early warning equipment to enhance prompt action, undertaking simulation activities to measure the level of our preparedness.

She said the commemoration brings together experiences on how best to work, coordinate in preparing, mitigating and responding to emerging disasters.

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