World Bank calls for more efforts in disaster and Climate risk preparedness

Senior Disaster Risk Specialist for the World Bank, Francis Nkoka Friday underscored the need for more efforts to be channelled towards strengthening the country’s disaster and climate risk preparedness with adequate financing and legal framework.

He made the remarks on Friday after Association of Environmental Journalists (AEJ) together with its partners had a green walk in Lilongwe City, as one way of amplifying the call for more mitigation and adaptation interventions on climate change.

Francis Nkoka

Nkoka said the country is considered one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, ranking 161 out of 181 in the ND-Global Adaptation Initiative Index.

He said even though poor countries including Malawi produce least pollutants, they are the hardest hit by climate change with millions of people already facing the severe consequences of more extreme weather events.

Nkoka said, “Addressing climate change requires bold actions and massive investments across key economic sectors, but the cost of in action is even higher.”

He said at the rate which climate change is affecting the country, evidenced by drought, erratic rains, higher temperatures and floods, it will be harder to achieve Malawi’s goal to become a low-middle status by 2030.

He said floods and droughts alone are estimated to have cost the country around 1.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year on average.

“We commend Malawi’s efforts towards implementing the climate change development agenda, which was recently endorsed at the highest level during the National Green Climate Conference,” the Specialists said.

He stated that the World Bank stands ready to continue supporting government and all partners on the climate resilience agenda through continued support for watershed services development and improved disaster risk management programmes.

Country Director for Concern World Wide, Yousaf Jogezai said Low income countries are exposed to some of the most severe climate impacts.

He said that these countries have the least capacity to adapt and find it hardest to recover from the devastating impacts caused by floods, droughts and cyclones.

“We are calling on high-income countries to deliver on this commitment to support low income countries to face the impact of climate change and renew their greenhouse gas emissions,” Jogazei said.

President of the AEJ, Mathews Malata, expressed concern over the way business being handled at the COP, citing lack of serious participation from those sent to represent the country.

“We want action, the COP26 must deliver, finances are needed in the country to implement adaptation and mitigation programmes, our agricultural production is going down, our people are suffering,” he said.

The green walk is aimed at raising awareness on environmental challenges that the country is facing, such as charcoal burning, thin plastics and careless disposal of diapers.

The green walk was patronised, by Deputy British High Commissioner, officials from the Lilongwe City Council, members of the press and students from Mlodza, Bwaila, Likuni Boys and LUANAR.

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