The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the implementation of programmes aimed at building communities’ resilience to disasters.
Speaking on Wednesday in Mangochi District when various disaster risk management (DRM) stakeholders monitored the implementation of the National Resilience Strategy (NRS) under the USAID-funded Titukulane Project, DoDMA’s Director of Disaster Risk Reduction, Dyce Nkhoma, said it was high time projects targeted building the resilience of the most vulnerable communities.
“Let us think of and engage the most common person in project development and implementation. As technocrats, we need to ensure that the laid-out plans are in tandem with building resilience of communities to disasters. As a department, we will always support every effort towards building communities and the nation’s resilience,” said Nkhoma.
He then described the interventions under the project, which included, among others; capacity building in juice production, provision of early warning materials to communities, capacity building of village natural resources management and civil protection committees and provision of agricultural loans to farmers; as impressive but called on stakeholders to fast-track implementation.
In his remarks, USAID Titukulane Project Chief of Party Daniel Abbott said the project is committed to ensuring that communities can build their resilience while engaging in a number of activities.
“We have been working very well with the district government, in terms of planning and implementation, as Titukulane, we really want to support Mangochi and Zomba to become an example of what the National Resilience Strategy is meant to look like at district level and use that to inform the replication at the national level.
“The project is coming to the mid-point and we have seen some really good results in terms of implementation on the ground for instance watershed management interventions to restore watersheds and reduce disaster risks.
“While we are seeing these successes, we have also noted that we need to go further. Communities have put in place plans and need some additional support to ensure impact. We need to intensify the work to ensure that the impact we have observed can be broadly felt across the project,” said Abbot.
USAID Titukulane is a five-year project which started in 2019 and aims at providing sustainable, equitable and resilient food and nutrition security for ultra-poor and chronically vulnerable households in Mangochi and Zomba Districts.
Among others, the US$75 million Project, which is being implemented by CARE Malawi in collaboration with Emmanuel International, International Food Policy Research Institute, Save the Children, Water Aid and National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi, supports the implementation of the NRS.
The NRS is a12-year strategy led by DoDMA and aims at breaking the cycle of food and nutrition insecurity in the country by bridging development and humanitarian interventions and prioritizing a continuum of more predictable livelihood support that target vulnerable households.