Government says it recognises the crucial role the media plays in creating and disseminating information on disaster and climate risk management at all levels.
The remarks were made by the Vice-President, Everton Chimulirenji on Friday in Salima when he opened a two-day disaster risk management workshop for news reporters and editors organised by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA).
Chimulirenji, who is also Minister responsible for DoDMA, said the media is an important vehicle in shaping dialogue in the country, particularly in promoting practices that build resilience, not those that increase vulnerability.
“Let me commend several media houses in the country that are making efforts to ensure that we build a resilient nation. People should be informed not just about disaster occurrence, but how they can prevent, mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from these disasters.
“There is a lot that, together, we can do to promote the spirit of safety and resilience,” he said.
The Vice-President said Malawi being a disaster-prone country, there is need for the country’s people to be well informed on issues of disaster, hence the need to engage the media in such issues.
“As government, we take issues of disaster risk management seriously and believe that a knowledgeable media is an important vehicle in building a resilient nation.
“That is why we are here today to orient you on such issues,” said Chimulirenji.
He then called for a multi-sectoral approach on issues of disasters which he described as a major threat to development.
“We hope to achieve a paradigm shift from a reactive approach to proactive approach by ensuring that disaster risks are timely addressed. However, achieving this requires concerted effort.
“We believe that a multi-sectoral and multi-agency approach, where communities at risk fully participate in decisions on issues affecting them is the best way we can improve our resilience and response to disasters.
“If we leave no one behind as we build resilience, we will be able to achieve our aspirations.”Chimulirenji said.
The VP on this point said it was the hope of government that the orientation would, among other things, ensure that proper dissemination of information helps to ensure those living and/or working in disaster prone areas are informed about the risks and made aware of the measures of managing the situation.
Speaking earlier, Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communication Technology, Mark Botomani said a well informed and knowledgeable nation on disaster risk reduction can accelerate socio-economic growth and development.
Botomani said this can only be achieved when the media and all disaster risk management stakeholders play an active role in efforts aimed at reducing disaster risks.
The minister then urged the participants to take the training seriously, saying it was important as it would enable them to write from an informed view.
Participants from the training were drawn from different media houses across the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :