Final year students in Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) on Friday, 12 November 2021, paid a learning visit at the newly built evacuation centre in T/A Amidu, Balaka District.
The hosts (Department of Disaster Management Affairs-DoDMA) made a presentation on and discussed Nutrition in Emergencies with the students.
They (students) were oriented to disaster risk reduction, preparedness and response interventions.
The students, who recommended that the department and it's stakeholders consider adding nutritional supplements to the relief package they provide to people affected by disasters, also appreciated how evacuation centres are managed.
A preliminary report from Mangochi District Council indicates that strong winds which blew over Maliwata Village in T/A Bwananyambi on Wednesday, 10th November, 2021 have damaged 43 houses.
The report further indicates that the winds, which blew at around 6 PM, left five people injured.
“The injured were rushed to Mbalama Health Centre, where three were treated as outpatients while one was referred to Mangochi District Hospital.
“There are also reports that strong winds have damaged a guardian shelter at Malombe Health Centre in T/A Chowe,” reads part of the report.
In a related development, strong winds have damaged 18 households in T/A Ganya, Ntcheu District while in Mulanje District, winds have damaged school structures and property in T/A Nkanda. A preliminary report from Mulanje District Council points that Dzenje Primary School has been heavily affected.
Meanwhile, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs is making arrangements to provide relief assistance to the affected people.
Pictures show the damage at Dzenje Primary School in Mulanje. Photo Credit: Mulanje District Council.
Whether rain or sunshine, this team gets on the ground. For the better part of last week, the team withstood the heatwave to mount housing units, providing shelter to families who had roofs of their houses blown off by strong winds in Lilongwe District.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs has planned to establish four more warehouses in strategic places of the country for stockpiling and prepositioning relief items.
Currently, the department has three warehouses (the main one in Ntcheu, and one minor warehouse each in Blantyre and Lilongwe) for stockpiling relief items meant for assisting people affected by various disasters in the country.
Speaking on Friday, 5th November 2021, when he held a meeting with Nsanje District Council and visited some disaster recovery and resilience implementation sites, Commisioner for Disaster Management Affairs Charles Kalemba said the department, in collaboration with councils, will use available structures and open up warehouses in Mzuzu, Mangochi, Bangula and either Karonga or Chitipa.
“The warehouse in Bangula will cater for Chikwawa and Nsanje Districts. For your information, we have planned to start stockpiling relief items in this [Bangula] warehouse from next week.
“As we are focusing on disaster risk reduction and resilience interventions, let us also scale up response interventions. We want to speed up the process of providing relief assistance to the affected people. We do not want to be moving longer distances to collect relief items for distribution to people in dire need when we can store some items nearby, in case of any disaster,” said Kalemba.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) is holding preparatory meetings with district and city councils from all the three regions of the country, on the implementation of the 2021/22 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Plan (LS-FIRP).
DoDMA and its humanitarian partners developed the LS-FIRP (also known as the MVAC Humanitarian Response) following the report by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC), which projected that about 1.5 million people in all the 28 districts, including the four cities of the country; will be food-insecure during the 2021/22 lean season.
Speaking during the official opening ceremony of a two-day meeting with councils from the Central Region, Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba indicated the need for councils to ensure transparency and accountability in the implementation of the response plan.
“Some districts will receive food rations while others will be reached out to through cash transfers. We will have to account for all the resources, we will need an account of who has received what, the quantities and where.
"Let me also point out that there is a tendency of some traditional leaders who impose on beneficiaries to share relief items with some members of their community, this; will not be tolerated. The relief assistance will only be targeted to intended beneficiaries,” said Kalemba.
Pictures show part of the proceedings during the meeting for councils from the central region, held in Mponela, Dowa.