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Items filtered by date: November 2021
As part of strengthening disaster preparedness in the country, the Malawi red Cross Society (MRCS) and the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA)have equipped Relief and Rehabilitation Officers (RROs) and disaster desk officers in councils with requisite knowledge and skills in administering first aid treatment.
Speaking in Mponela, at MRCS Training Centre in Dowa, Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba said the training had come at the most opportune time when the rainy season has just started and most parts of the country are likely to be affected by strong winds, stormy rains and floods.
Kalemba said that the importance of the search and rescue cluster cannot be overemphasized as they are usually the first responders to save lives of the affected people.
“The RR0s and disaster desk officers have always done commendable work during major disasters hence very crucial that they be equipped with requisite knowledge and skills in first aid”, said Kalemba.
He said that at the onset of the rainy season, DoDMA has already received several disaster reports resulting from strong winds and stormy rains affecting several households in a number of districts.
“Most parts of the country are likely to be affected by strong winds, stormy rains and floods and councils will be required to save lives during emergencies,” he said.
Kalemba urged the team to take the training seriously so that they are able to apply it in real emergency situations.
He thanked Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) for sponsoring the training.
“Let me recognize the commendable work MRCS is doing in the country. MRCS is our trusted partner in disaster risk management as it has been supporting government both technically and financially,” added Kalemba.
One of the participants at the training, RRO for Lilongwe district council, Denia Banda said the training was so beneficial as it has equipped her in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) first aid.
“I now know how to conduct CPR to an unconscious person, be it an adult or a child under the age of five,” said Banda.
Meanwhile, the training has benefitted 19 district councils and two city councils across the country.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states intend to establish a Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre as part of improving preparedness and emergency response capacity during disasters.
The objective of the centre is to coordinate humanitarian and emergency support to member states affected by disasters within the region, thereby contributing to disaster risk reduction and resilience building.
The SADC secretariat on Friday, 19th November, 2021 convened a virtual emergency joint meeting of the technical committee responsible for Disaster Risk Management (DRM) with the national focal points to fast track the operationalization of the SADC Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre (SHOC).
Chairing the meeting, Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs in the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), Charles Kalemba emphasized the fact that the meeting should come up with action points which when approved by the SADC Council of Ministers will result in actions that will reduce disaster risks.
Kalemba said in view of the ever increasing frequency and magnitude of disasters in the region, it was imperative to fast track the operationalization of the centre to make SADC countries able to respond to disasters in time.
“We need to come up with solutions which when presented and approved by the Council of Ministers, will result in actions that will reduce disaster risks,” said Kalemba.
He said that the region has already started receiving reports of strong winds which are causing havoc in certain areas, hence important for the technical committee to deliberate on action points that will change things.
He said: “The centre will improve coordination and humanitarian capabilities in Malawi and the SADC region hence the need for it.”
In August 2019, the SADC Council of Ministers directed the SADC Secretariat to operationalize the SADC preparedness and response mechanism which includes the operationalization of the SHOC.
During its meeting in March 2021, the Council approved the instruments for the establishment of the SHOC and accepted the offer by the government of Mozambique to host the centre.
The Mozambican Government, the then SADC chair, offered land and a building to be the SADC SHOC and was launched by His Excellency Filipe Jacinto Nyusi in June 2021.
In an interview, one of the participants in the meeting, DoDMA’s Deputy Director for Disaster Response, Fyawupi Mwafongo said when a disaster of a big magnitude occurs in a member state, it is important that a team should be deployed to assist in managing the response operations.
Mwafongo said it was a welcome idea to have the centre as it will deploy regional capabilities including the emergency response team and the SADC stand-by force to assist in humanitarian and emergency support in line with the DRM coordination mechanism.
“There is need to have emergency response teams, capabilities and mechanisms at regional level. That will also lessen the burden affected nations carry when disasters occur,” said Mwafongo.
According to Kalemba, the proposals made in the meeting will be taken to the ministers meeting proposed to take place in December, 2021 which will then be submitted to the Council of Ministers to be held in March 2021 for approval.
 
Photo Credit: Malawi News Agency
Photo Details: A group photo of SADC Heads of State and Government captured during the 41st Summit held in August 2021, Lilongwe

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.

 
Monday, 22 November 2021 06:20

Strong winds damage 43 houses in Mangochi

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.

Monday, 22 November 2021 06:18

The unsung heroes

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.

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