The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) has organized a two-day workshop aimed at orienting and training various disaster risk management (DRM) stakeholders on Sendai Framework Monitor [a tool which UN-member states use to report progress on indicators for measuring targets under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction].
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) outlines seven targets and four priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks. It was adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, on March 18, 2015.
The two-day workshop, which started on Tuesday (19th November, 2019) is being held at Crossroads Hotel, in Lilongwe and has drawn together assistant district disaster risk management officers, officials from government ministries and departments and non-governmental organisations, among others.
Speaking when he officially presided over the opening ceremony, Secretary to the Vice President and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Wilson Moleni, said the Sendai Framework Monitor should be used to guide the design and measure progress in the implementation of disaster risk reduction interventions in the country.
“It [the Sendai Framework Monitor] should also be used as a learning point, where we are able to reflect on areas we are not doing well as a country and make necessary adjustments,” said Moleni.
In his remarks, Acting UN Resident Representative, Benoit Thiry, called for coordinated efforts in reporting against indicators for measuring targets under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
“The UN recognises the importance of putting efforts together to enhance the coordination among institutions and different partners to collect, analyze and share disaster related data, which is essential for decision making to reduce risks and enhance resilience,” said Thiry.
Officials from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) through the Department of Inspection and Advisory Services (DIAS) and the Malawi Institute of Education (MIE) have converged on Liwonde, Machinga, for the finalization of the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Sourcebook for Secondary Schools.
DoDMA’s Deputy Director for Disaster Risk Reduction Revie Manda said the sourcebook has been developed as one way of mainstreaming DRM in secondary school curriculum; and imparting teachers and students with knowledge on DRM, which they would employ in reducing risks and build resilience to disasters in their schools and communities.
“We developed and trial-tested the sourcebook in selected secondary schools. During the trial-testing process, teachers and learners made recommendations aimed at refining the sourcebook. This working session is aimed at addressing the recommendations made,” said Manda.
The processes of refining the DRM Sourcebook for Secondary Schools has been made possible with funding from the United Nations Development Programme under the Disaster Risk Management for Resilience Project.
The three institutions also developed a DRM sourcebook for primary schools in 2018. A total of 16,656 sourcebooks were distributed in 5, 552 public primary schools across the country.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has engaged education authorities in mainstreaming disaster risk management (DRM) programmes in schools.
Officials from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), Malawi Institute of Education (MIE)and DoDMA have converged in Blantyre to develop plans on how to mainstream DRM programmes in schools as one way of ensuring that pupils are equipped with knowledge and skills in DRM, so that they take active role in reducing disaster risks and build resilience of their communities to disasters.
DoDMA’s Chief Mitigation Officer Dr. Stern Kita said that the importance of mainstreaming DRM in schools cannot be overemphasized.
“We developed the DRM source book for primary schools and we are finalizing the development of a source book for secondary schools with an aim of mainstreaming DRM in schools.
“We are continuing the process of working with education authorities and school structures in mainstreaming disaster risk management issues as part of the curriculum. Learners have the capacity to assist us in building resilience of their schools and communities,” said Kita.
The developed plans primarily aim at establishing DRM School Clubs in 9 local authorities of Chikwawa, Nsanje, Phalombe, Mulanje, Zomba, Machinga, Balaka district councils; Lilongwe and Mzuzu City Councils. The clubs will be expected to implement small scale activities aimed at building the resilience of the schools and communities.
Inspector of Schools and Colleges in the Directorate of Inspection and Advisory Services in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Jennings Kayira hailed DoDMA for taking an initiative to establish DRM school clubs in both primary and secondary schools.
“The frequency at which disasters are affecting schools is alarming. Equipping leaners with knowledge and skills on risk reduction, preparedness and mitigation is of paramount importance,” said Kayira.
The officials, who also reviewed DRM social marketing tools during the four-day meeting, undertook a learning visit to Mfera, Mkuzi and Limphangwi where the Malawi Red Cross Society is working with school clubs in building resilience of schools and communities to disasters.
The engagement of education authorities, such as District Education Managers, Primary Education Advisors and Inspector of Schools, has been made possible with funding from the United Nations Development Programme, under the Disaster Risk Management for Resilience (DRM4R) project.
The project, which is being implemented in seven districts and two city councils in the country, seeks to build resilience to hazards for women, youths, vulnerable groups and communities in disaster-prone rural and urban areas, and ensure that they are benefiting from integrated interventions in risk knowledge, risk governance, risk reduction, disaster preparedness, response and recovery.