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Items filtered by date: October 2020
The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) has called on councils to invest in early warning systems (EWS) if the country were to make significant strides in reducing flood risks.
DCCMS Director Jolamu Nkhokwe made the call recently when he led a team of officers in disseminating downscaled rainfall seasonal forecast to five district councils of Lilongwe, Mchinji, Salima, Dowa and Ntchisi.
Nkhokwe observed that, among others, there was need for councils to plant rain gauges in every extension planning area (EPA) under their jurisdiction.
“We experience flooding every rainfall season resulting in huge losses and damages. Floods are caused by heavy rains and if we had planted rain gauges across the country, we could have significantly reduced flood risks. Rain gauges would have enabled us to collect as much rainfall data as possible which could be disseminated to communities as early warning information.
“Let us utilise the funds we have and engage NGOs to invest in early warning systems. Floods retard social and economic development of any setting,” said Nkhokwe, stressing that the country will receive normal to above normal rainfalls, which might trigger the occurrence of floods in some parts.
The dissemination of downscaled rainfall seasonal forecast has been conducted in 27 districts of the country (except Likoma) with funding from the Green Climate (GCF) Fund, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)and the Malawi Government under the Scaling Up the Use of Modernized Climate Information and Early Warning Systems (M-CLIMES) project and other partners.
The partners included the Malawi Red Cross Society, World Food Programme, CARE Malawi (through Titukulane project) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
The M-CLIMES project aims to support the Government of Malawi to take steps to save lives and enhance livelihoods at risk of climate-related disasters.
The exercise has assisted councils to formulate contingency plans from an informed point of view, as they face the rainy season.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has, through Mzuzu City Council, constructed 700-metre-long water drains in Zolozolo and Chibanja Wards to reduce flood risks.
The drains, constructed with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the Disaster Risk Management for Resilience (DRM4R) project to the tune of K80 million, have offered a ray of hope amongst residents of the two wards, notorious for recurrent flash floods.
Rachel Nyondo, a 37-year-old widow who banks on small scale businesses for her survival, hopes for better rainy days in subsequent seasons following her ordeal in 2017.
“I lost my household property and most of my merchandise to floods that affected most parts of Chibanja. I had no option but to engage loan sharks to get back to my feet.
“I used to have sleepless nights every time it rained, I knew floods were imminent. The occurrence of the floods was aggravated by poor drainage system and the constructed drain gives me hope for better rainy days,” says the mother of four.
The DRM4R project is being implemented in Mzuzu and Lilongwe cities; including seven districts of Chikwawa, Nsanje, Phalombe, Zomba, Mangochi, Balaka and Mulanje.
The project 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 benefitting from integrated interventions in risk knowledge, risk governance, risk reduction, disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
Pictures show some parts of the drains and Nyondo on her way to cross part of the drain that stretches along her compound
Monday, 26 October 2020 17:57

India donates 20,000 bags of rice to Malawi

The Government of India on Monday, 26th October, 2020 donated 1,000 metric tonnes (about 20,000 bags each weighing 50kg) of rice valued at US$700,000 (about MK 528 million) to assist Malawi in reaching out to over 2.6 million food-insecure people.

Speaking in Lilongwe during the official handover ceremony of the donation, Indian High Commissioner to Malawi, Anurag Bhushan said the donation signifies the goodwill and cordial relationship that exists between the two governments and hoped that it will go a long way towards supporting vulnerable households amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The donation is in support of Malawi’s efforts in meeting recent food shortage which has been caused by acts of nature and aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Bhushan, whose government donated US$ 2 million-worth medicine in July, 2020, to assist Malawi in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

In her remarks, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma described the donation as timely.

“The 2020 food security assessment report by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) has projected 2.6 million people as requiring humanitarian food assistance during the lean season from November, 2020 to March, 2021.

“Government, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, in collaboration with humanitarian partners, is finalizing the development of the 2020/2021 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Plan to mobilize resources and effectively coordinate the response to the food insecure communities.

“The food shortage has been exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. The donation comes at the right time and it will complement government’s efforts in mobilizing resources for the implementation of the 2020/2021 Food Insecurity Response Programme that will roll out in November, 2020,” said Nkusa Nkhoma.

The Deputy Minister further said government is making efforts to graduate from chronic food insecurity by stepping up interventions that will contribute to resilience building of the affected communities to break the food insecurity vicious cycle.

“To this extent, government, together with its partners is implementing the National Resilience Strategy which is meant to reduce the vulnerability of communities to different shocks including floods and prolonged dry spells which lead to food insecurity,” said Nkusa Nkhoma.

 

The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) on Thursday 15th October, 2020, in collaboration with various government agencies and humanitarian partners, facilitated the arrival and reception of 739 Malawians who were living in South Africa.
The returnees, who included 426 men, 313 women and 120 children under the age of five, arrived through Mwanza Border at around 6pm, aboard 14 buses.
Upon arrival, the returnees underwent health, security and immigration screening and were provided with basic needs such as food and sanitary materials.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) on Wednesday, 14th October, 2020 provided relief assistance to people affected by recent stormy rains (rains accompanied by strong winds) in Balaka and Mchinji Districts.
Stormy rains that fell from 6th to 10th October affected a total of 613 households in four districts of Balaka, Mchinji, Mzimba and Mangochi. Two people died in Mchinji following a lightning strike and a collapsed wall. There were also reports of stormy rains in Lilongwe and Salima Districts and assessments are underway to establish the extent of damage.
A total of 188 households were affected in Balaka, 248 in Mchinji, 69 in Mzimba and 108 in Mangochi. Most of the damage caused included collapsed walls and blown off roofs.
The department has since provided each of the affected households in Balaka and Mchinji districts with relief items which included 25 kg rice, 4 plastic plates, 5 plastic cups, 1 kg salt, 10 metres of plastic sheet for temporary roofing and one 20-litre plastic bucket.
The department is making arrangements to reach out to affected people in Mzimba and Mangochi Districts as soon as possible.
Tuesday, 13 October 2020 17:31

International day for Disaster Reduction

Today, the 13th of October, is the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR). The day is commemorated every year on 13th October as one way of raising awareness on efforts being made to build resilience of communities and nations to disasters.
This year’s IDDR is being commemorated under the theme ‘Substantially increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies by 2020.’
In Malawi, the theme has been domesticated to ‘DRR Strategies for Resilience Building,’ sending a message that DRR legislation and strategies should not only focus on managing disasters through preparedness and response, but also set out comprehensive measures for reducing disaster risk.
The focus of the commemoration for the 2020 IDDR is to provide an advocacy platform on the necessity and relevance of disaster risk reduction strategies and risk management mechanisms as a first line of defence against the impacts of disasters.
Cognizant of the Covid-19 pandemic, the main event marking the commemoration will be a panel discussion that will be held on 23rd October, 2020 that will be aired live on MBC Radio1 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM, under the theme ‘DRR Strategies for Resilience Building.’
LET US ALL TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE IN FORMULATING AND IMPLEMENTING DISASTER RISK REDUCTION STRATEGIES!

Government through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs, on Saturday, 3rd October, 2020 provided financial support towards funeral arrangements to families whose relations died in a road accident on Friday at Mlanda, in Ntcheu District.

Thirteen people died and four sustained various degree of injuries when a Yutong Bus collided with a Toyota Hiace Minibus at around 9pm. The four were rushed to Dedza District Hospital, which referred a five-year-old critically injured child to Kamuzu Central Hospital. Government has also provided financial support to the injured.

Speaking when he visited the injured at Dedza District Hospital, Deputy Director of Disaster Response and Recovery Dyce Nkhoma said government was deeply saddened by the accident.

Nkhoma, who was in the company of District Commissioners for Ntcheu [Gift Matewere] and Dedza [Emmanuel Bulukutu] wished the injured a quick recovery.

On his part, Matewere narrated his life experience saying he was once involved in an accident which left him with a fractured arm.

“I was involved in a road accident some six years ago, at Dwangwa in Nkhotakota and I got healed. I am optimistic that you too, will make it,” said Matewere.

One of the injured person’s story is traumatic. At the time of the accident, she was heading to Ntcheu aboard the minibus, in the company of her husband and her two and five –year-old sons, to attend to her late bother’s funeral ceremony.

Both her husband and the two-year-old child died on the spot, while the five-year-old, who was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital, died in the wee hours of Sunday, 4th October, 2020. Following the demise of the five-year-old child, death toll in the accident has risen to 14.

The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) on Tuesday, 29th September, 2020, facilitated the arrival and reception of 1,268 Malawians who were living in South Africa.
The returnees, of which 103 were deported for illegal entry, arrived through Mwanza Border at around 6pm, aboard 22 buses.
Upon arrival, the returnees underwent health, security and immigration screening and were provided with basic needs such as food and sanitary materials.
The Public Communication Cluster on Covid-19 organised a media orientation workshop for editors and news reporters on Covid-19 emerging issues.
The workshop was held at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach in Salima, from 26th to 27th September, 2020 and covered issues ranging from Covid-19 current status from the health perspective, to general Covid-19 response and coordination.
A total of 50 editors and reporters from various media houses in the country, including community radio stations, were oriented during the workshop, thanks to financial support from the Malawi Government and UNICEF Malawi.
The Government of the People’s Republic of China on Sunday, 27th September, 2020, donated the third batch of medical supplies to assist the Malawi Government in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe during the handover ceremony of the donated medical supplies which included 20,016 test kits and 30 sets of non-invasive ventilators, among others, Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy to Malawi, Liu Guoyu, said the donation is a manifestation of the brotherly relationship that exists between China and Malawi.
“China is a true friend of Malawi. In the fight against Covid-19, China and Malawi have again stood by each other. The Chinese Government has provided three batches of medical supplies including N95 masks, protective suits, thermometers, gloves, shoe covers, non-invasive ventilators, testing kits and many more. The donated materials have a total value of more than US$1 million,” said Guoyu.
In her remarks, Deputy Minister of Health, Chrissie Kalamula Kanyasho, said the Malawi Government is grateful for the donation.
“The biggest challenge in the fight against Covid-19 is shortage of test kits. It is of major relief that today, we have received a donation of test kits at the darkest hour of need.
“This donation is not a coincidence but a result of understanding and compassion of the people of China towards their brothers and sisters in Malawi,” said Kanyasho.