Final year students in Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science Programme from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) on Friday (13th January; 2023) paid an educational visit at the Humanitarian Staging Area (HSA) in Bangula; Nsanje where they shared practical experiences with humanitarian actors focusing in nutrition in emergencies.
The HSA was established to fast truck coordination and response to disasters in the Lower Shire.
The students, who also donated clothes to people affected by disasters in Nsanje; paid a visit to Ndiola; one of the rivers the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has, under the Disaster Risk Management for Resilience Project; dredged through the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to reduce flood risks.
Speaking during the visit, the class’ representatives Gracian Banda and Kondwani Gondwe said the visit gave them a practical experience in handling nutrition during emergencies.
In his remarks, Lecturer and Deputy Head of LUANAR’s Department of Human Nutrition and Health Lloyd Chauwa; said LUANAR appreciates the cordial working relationship that exists between the institution and DoDMA.
“The learning visits provide practical experiences for students. Last year, DoDMA hosted final year students under the same programme in Balaka in which they appreciated how issues of nutrition are addressed at an evacuation centre. Today, we have been hosted in Nsanje with the facilitation of the department and this shows how committed DoDMA is in sharing experiences with various stakeholders for effective implementation of disaster risk management (DRM) programmes,” said Chauwa.
Nsanje District Council’s Disaster Risk Management Desk Officer Patrick Sipuni commended LUANAR for the visit.
“As a district, we do not take the visit for granted. For us, this is a learning experience as we have discussed issues of nutrition with final year students who have fresh ideas with respect to the issue at hand,” said Sipuni.
He then applauded the students for the donation, saying it will go a long way in assisting some affected households from Traditional Authority (T/A) Ngabu, who were recently displaced by flash floods.
During the visit, Robert Manda, a nutrition expert and Nsanje District Coordinator for the Scaling Up Nutrition Project which is being implemented through the Hunger Project; made a presentation on Nutrition in Emergencies