The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) says it is ready to roll-out the implementation of the 2022/23 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Programme (LS-FIRP) targeting food insecure populations as projected by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC).
MVAC projected that 3.8 million people will be food insecure in 27 districts and four cities of the country during the 2022/23 lean season (November 2022 to March 2023) leading to the development of the (LS-FIRP) to assist in resource mobilization and guide the response intervention.
Speaking in Zomba City during a full council meeting on the implementation of the 2022/23 LS-FIRP, DoDMA’s Deputy Director of Response Fyawupi Mwafongo said the department is prepared and looking forward to a smooth implementation of the programme and has already disbursed funds for preparatory activities to five councils whose beneficiaries will receive assistance for five months, starting from November this year.
“Five councils namely; Zomba District, Zomba City, Chikwawa, Nsanje and Balaka will receive assistance for five months, while the rest of the councils in the southern region will get assistance for four months. Beneficiaries in the central and northern regions of the country will be assisted for three months.
“We are using two modalities; cash transfers and in-kind maize distribution to address the food situation. We are taking no chances and we are currently meeting with contracted transporters to iron out all logistical hindrances to ensure smooth implementation of the programme,” said Mwafongo.
He then called upon councils to expedite the processes of sensitizing community structures such as the Area/Village development and Civil Protection Committees stressing that they are key in the implementation of the programme.
“We expect the councils to speed up the beneficiary identification processes while following guidelines for the provision of humanitarian assistance,” said Mwafongo.
In his remarks, Zomba City Mayor His Worship Councillor Davie Maunde concurred with Mwafongo in calling for speed and efficiency in the implementation of the programme.
“Let us all work in line with the specified time frame and deadlines so that we hit the ground in time. Let us not let down the less privileged, they are counting on us,” said Maunde.
Similar sensitization meetings have been held in Balaka, Zomba, Nsanje and Chikwawa Districts. The meetings will be conducted in all the affected councils.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) with support from Malawi Red Cross Society, Danish Red Cross and the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), and in partnership with the United Nations, is coordinating a three-day National Dialogue Platform on Anticipatory Action aimed at developing and implementing a multi-sector Malawi Anticipatory Action Roadmap.
As a member state of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), on 8th September, 2022, Malawi adopted the Maputo Declaration on bridging the gap between early warning and early action.
The declaration calls for the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the United Nations Secretary General to provide every citizen on the planet with access to reliable, accurate and timely early warning systems.
The commitment builds on the Global Multi-Hazard Alert System Framework (GMAS), and the African Union’s Africa Multi-Hazard Early Warning and Action System (AMHEWAS) which forms part of the African Union’s Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan for 2022-2032.
In his opening speech, Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba said It was pleasing to note that the national dialogue platform was taking place at a critical time when Malawi is reflecting on the disaster impacts and lessons from the previous season to properly prepare for this forthcoming season.
Kalemba said disaster preparedness and response planning as well as financing are critical to ensure that strategies and mechanisms are in place to save lives and property as well as reduce the impacts of the disasters and facilitate timely assistance.
“As per the event theme ‘Ready to Act before disaster Impact,’ the critical role of anticipatory action in disaster risk management cannot be overemphasized more especially with its focus that all selected anticipatory actions and their financing are predefined and agreed to allow for quick, early action and support implementation within the window of opportunity,” said Kalemba.
He said that through the interactions as well as the exchanges of experiences and knowledge, the platform will improve awareness about the concepts of early warning and anticipatory action among relevant stakeholders to support the mobilization of additional support to the human, financial and infrastructure capacities of entities responsible for early warning and early action.
He said: “Government is willing to increase efforts to accelerate anticipatory action, considering that this can have a positive role in ensuring prevention and adaptive approaches that contribute to effectively preventing food insecurity, loss of livelihood, among others.”
On her part, Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) Director of Programmes, Prisca Chisala said the anticipatory actions roadmap will provide space for upscaling the good practices that each institution is promoting.
She said the role each partner will play in the meeting will be appreciated as it will help to consolidate their work, coordinate and respond to emerging disasters.
“This interface meeting is paramount to our day-to-day work. It is a call for everyone to take part in the processes as disasters have become more prevalent each and every year, said Chisala.
Kalemba acknowledged the support of all those supporting the various anticipatory action initiatives at different levels in the country and requested for more support towards implementation of anticipatory action initiatives as well as the operationalization of the roadmap.
The platform attracted participation across government ministries, academia, Non-governmental and civil society organisations; and private sector.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM) partners on Thursday 13th October,2022 commemorated the 2022 International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) at Gosheni Primary School ground in Dedza district.
The day was globally commemorated under the theme ‘Early warning Early Action for All;’ offering an opportunity to reflect on the successes and challenges encountered during implementation of DRM programmes and policies in the country.
Speaking during the ceremony, guest of honour at the event, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of water and sanitation, Elias Chimulambe said this year’s theme is sending out a message that weather, climate and water extremes are becoming more frequent and intense hence the need to inform the communities to act.
“We all know what happens when there is an occurrence of disasters in our midst. As such, it is of paramount importance to celebrate this day and warn each other. It is up to all of us as Government, stakeholders and the citizenly to put in place various strategies of early warning and action,” said Chimulambe.
He said that the Department of Climate Change and Metrological Services (DCCMS) have released a seasonal forecast and that stakeholders and other ministries are working hard to make sure that systems are in place to issue warnings on possible signs of disasters.
He called on communities to desist from vandalizing early warning gadgets in all sites where they were installed saying this may hinder government’s efforts in saving lives of people.
“May I call upon leaders and relevant partners to hold sensitization meetings on the equipment so that people are aware of the gadgets,” he said.
In his speech, Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs; Charies Kalemba thanked all stakeholders for their cordial partnership in DRM and urged for continued support.
“Our mandate as DoDMA is to coordinate the implementation of DRM programmes in the country and make sure that all stakeholders play their part so that we can save lives and property. The issue we are discussing today is early warning, as such there is need for us to prepare now without leaving anyone behind,” said Kalemba.
He said the department will soon start drenching the rivers in the lower shire as one way of preparedness so that the areas are not prone to flooding as it has been in the previous years.
He said the decision to drench the rivers was reached upon after observing that most of the flooding happens because there is no water carriage way.
“We are working with the ministry of water and sanitation so that we drench the rivers soon before rains start,” he said.
On her part, Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) Director of programs, Prisca Chisala said this year’s theme and the commemoration had come at the right time when the country is to face normal to above normal rains as it was last year which may trigger the occurrence of floods.
Chisala said there is need for stakeholders and government to really emphasize on the need for people to take responsibility on how they respond to warnings DCCMS and other stakeholders issue.
“We have started on a very good note engaging communities and stressing that it is their responsibility to act on early warning messages and we hope that the response towards that will be positive as compared to last year,” said Chisala.
She said MRCS will continue supporting government in making a contribution towards the national resilient strategy which mainly focuses on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
She called upon other actors to invest more in early warning and action and other preparedness activities to help save lives and property.
On Thursday, 13th October, 2022, Malawi commemorated the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) at Gosheni Primary School Ground, T/A Kachindamoto, Dedza District; under the theme “Early Warning and Early Action for All.”
The IDDR is commemorated every year in October as one way of raising awareness on efforts being made to build resilience of communities and nations to disasters.
The commemoration, which started with a solidarity walk from Gosheni Market to the venue; was presided over by the Secretary for Water and Sanitation; Elias Chimulambe.
This year’s IDDR was preceded by a panel discussion held on Tuesday, 11th October, at Crossroads Hotel; Lilongwe and aired live on MBC Radio 2 and Zodiak Radio. Pictures highlight activities marking the 2022 IDDR commemoration.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has called on councils in the country to fully prepare for the 2022/2023 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response Programme (LS-FIRP).
The programme is expected to commence in November 2022 to March 2023 and will provide food assistance to 3.8 million in 27 districts and four cities as projected by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report.
Speaking in Blantyre on Wednesday when he opened the meeting with councils in the southern region, Director of Response and Recovery, Rev Moses Chimpepo said the meeting was organised to share with councils DoDMA’s planned events in undertaking the exercise.
Chimphepo said it was important that the department meets with councils to deliberate on the developed national food insecurity response plan that will help mobilize and effectively coordinate the humanitarian assistance for the food insecure households and the nitty gritty of the programme.
“This meeting has among others, emphasized on the need for stakeholders including district councils and the local development and civil protection committees to abide by the humanitarian principles of neutrality and impartiality as well as transparency and accountability in the implementation of the exercise.
“There is need for councils to work with speed and be thorough in household targeting, registration and verification to avoid chaos and ensure smooth and successful implementation of the programme,” said Chimphepo.
He said the discussions will also provide good feedback that will enrich DoDMA’s planning and implementation arrangements,” said Chimphepo.
He urged councils to stick to time frames for the roadmaps so that there are no delays adding that the department has asked for prepositioning sites which he hoped that all councils will submit in time.
He said: “Just a reminder to all councils and responsible officers that there will be need for plausible utilization of funds that will be disbursed to councils and financial reporting and liquidation of funds,” said Chimphepo.
Speaking on behalf of all councils, Director of Planning and Development (DPD)for Zomba District Council, Precious Katsitsi commended the department for the interface meetings saying they will help them in their preparations.
Katsitsi said the interface meetings have given them energy to be on their toes and promised that councils will take heed of everything shared and deliver accordingly.
He said that there were a lot of issues such as verifying names of beneficiaries drawn from the Unified Beneficiary Registry (UBR) just to make sure that only those households deserving the assistance are the ones benefitting.
“The lean season programme is one of the biggest exercises councils undertake every year. Our performance last year was remarkable. We are very hopeful that this year we will do better than last year,” said Katsitsi.
He thanked the department for the unwavering support rendered to councils from time to time aimed at making sure that councils are delivering.
Government will lead the coordination and implementation of the response programme through DoDMA and the district councils.
In closing, Chimphepo also urged the councils to plan and put in place measures to address the foreseeable impacts of disasters that might be experienced during the season.
The response programme will be implemented through two modalities namely; cash transfers and in- kind maize distribution. The cash transfers have been currently pegged at MK25,000.00 per household; per month; while households targeted under maize distribution would be reached out to with a 50kg bag per month.
Same meetings have been conducted in the central and northern regions.
In the photo, a beneficially of the 2021/22 LS-FIRP takes a rest after arriving from a maize distribution point in Salima District.