The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has called on officers to involve vulnerable communities in formulating and implementing various disaster risk management (DRM) activities, which include risk reduction, response and recovery operations.
Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, James Chiusiwa, made the call in Salima during an orientation workshop for 18 newly recruited relief and rehabilitation officers (RROs) deployed in various district councils in the country.
Chiusiwa observed that vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and people with disabilities are key in disaster risk management and their involvement is a hub for strengthening community resilience to disasters.
“We need to create a culture of safety and this entails that we involve children, people with disabilities, the elderly and other vulnerable groups in DRM. We need to empower and equip children with knowledge that will be central in building resilience of communities to disasters and I encourage you to form DRM school clubs in the districts under your jurisdiction,” said Chiusiwa.
In his remarks, UNICEF Malawi Chief of Community Development and Resilience, Matteo Frontini, said involvement of children and adolescents is key in disaster preparedness.
“We are working in collaboration with government and other UN agencies and we do believe in the added value we can bring in disaster preparedness activities, enabling child-friendly and resilient communities in a child centred approach.
“Children are future generations and therefore, important for community level’s preparedness,” said Matteo through a video conference call.
The five-day orientation workshop has been organised with financial support from UNICEF Malawi and the Malawi Government and seeks to equip RROs with knowledge on DRM, which will assist them to effectively undertake their responsibilities.