The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and District Councils from the Southern Region on Friday, (16th August, 2019) held a consultative meeting in Blantyre on devolved disaster risk management (DRM) functions and resources.
DoDMA devolved some of its DRM functions to councils to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in the implementation of the functions. This is the first year Treasury has made available resources to implement disaster risk management interventions in councils.
The meeting dwelled on how best councils can implement the devolved functions, align resources to the devolved functions and utilise them in accordance with DoDMA’s mandate, vision and mission.
Speaking when he officially opened the consultative meeting, Secretary to the Vice President and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Wilson Moleni called on the councils to use the resources for their intended purpose.
“Treasury allocated MK1 billion for devolved Disaster Risk Management functions in the 2019/20 financial year budget, of which MK330 million has been made available in the provisional budget.
“Let me point out that the resources that are being provided to councils are strictly meant to support DRM functions,” said Moleni.
District Commissioner for Chiradzulu, Reinghard Chavula said the devolved functions and activities will assist councils to effectively and efficiently implement DRM activities, considering that the DRM Sector has not been funded ever before.
A similar meeting involving district councils from the Northern and Central Regions was held in Mponela, Dowa on Monday, 12th August, 2019.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), and its stakeholders have (13th August, 2019) converged on Mponela, Dowa for the final review of the 2018/19 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Programme (2018/19 LS-FIRP).
The one-day meeting, which is being held with financial assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP) is aimed at reviewing how the 2018/19LS-FIRP was implemented, share experiences, best practices, challenges and lessons learnt to inform subsequent programmes.
Speaking when he officially opened the meeting at Linde Hotel, DoDMA’s Director of Disaster Response and Recovery Harris Kachale said the meeting could not have come at the right time.
“The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) recently undertook 2019 food security assessment and is finalizing the annual assessment report. Therefore, this review meeting is coming at a critical stage as we would soon be commencing preparations and designing of food insecurity response programme for the 2019/2020 consumption year.
“The discussions, decisions, lessons and recommendations from this review will be handy and serve as a springboard for ensuring that the forthcoming food insecurity response programme is successful and needs of the food insecure people are timely and appropriately addressed,” said Kachale.
Kachale then commended various stakeholders for successfully implementing the 2018/19 LS-FIRP.
“For the first time, government, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs and the district councils successfully led the implementation of the humanitarian response programme which targeted over 3.3 million food-insecure people projected by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) in 27 districts, with food assistance.
“This achievement is a result of the concerted efforts by DoDMA, district councils, NGO partners, WFP, NFRA as well as other stakeholders including our community structures. The humanitarian response programme is indeed a true manifestation of the good collaboration and partnership that existed amongst us,” said Kachale.
The meeting has drawn together district councils from the Northern and Central regions of the country, WFP, the National Food Reserve Agency, and NGO partners, among others.
A similar meeting involving district councils from the Southern region is expected to be held in Blantyre on Thursday, 15th August, 2019.
Government says it is committed to implementing disaster mitigation and resilience-building programmes in the country.
Vice President and Minister responsible for Disaster Management Affairs, Everton Herbert Chimulirenji, made the commitment on Friday (9th August, 2019) when he visited Salima District to appreciate flood-mitigating works implemented with financial support from the People’s Republic of China, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Malawi Government under the Small Grants Scheme (SGS).
Chimulirenji said President Arthur Peter Mutharika’s-led Government will not relent in implementing programmes aimed at mitigating the impact and building resilience of communities to disasters.
“Government will not forsake you. We will construct disaster-mitigating structures such as dykes in flood-prone areas to reduce the impact of disasters. Government will also implement various programmes to build the resilience of communities to disasters,” said Chimulilenji.
The Vice President then commended the Government of China and the UNDP for supporting various disaster risk management (DRM) programmes in the country.
“Government of the People’s Republic of China and the UNDP are friends in need and indeed to the Malawi Government, in as far as the implementation of Disaster Risk Management and developmental programmes are concerned. Government appreciates the support it gets from China and UNDP and prays that it continues for the benefit of the marginalized and the most vulnerable,” said Chimulirenji, who visited Abwenzi Evacuation Centre in T/A Khombedza.
In his remarks, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Malawi Liu Hongyang, said his government will continue to work with the Malawi Government in partnership with other development partners such as the UNDP to contribute to disaster risk reduction efforts.
UNDP Resident Representative Shigeki Komatsubara said his organization is committed to supporting disaster risk reduction programmes in the country and said it will construct five additional evacuation centres in the country.
Secretary to the Vice President and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Wilson Moleni, described the People’s Republic of China and the UNDP as friends in need.
“The Government of the People’s Republic of China and the UNDP have been supporting the Malawi Government to implement various disaster risk management programmes,” said Moleni.
The SGS is an initiative implemented under UNDP’s Disaster Risk Management Programme Support by the Government of Malawi, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA). It commenced in 2012 and has provided financial support to community based organisations (CBOs), civil protection committees (CPCs) and Non-Governmental Organisations to implement community-based disaster risk reduction projects aimed at building resilience and reducing vulnerability of communities to disasters.
Under the initiative, four evacuation centres, which also generate income to the communities, have been constructed in flood-prone districts of Nsanje, Mangochi, Karonga and Salima. In addition, two excavated tanks (check dams) and a dyke have been constructed in Mangochi and Chikwawa Districts, respectively.
During the Vice President’s visit, Government, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) provided 600 bags of rice (each weighing 50 kg) to people affected by disasters in Salima.