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.