The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has called on councils in the country to focus on disaster preparedness and risk reduction efforts in managing disasters.
Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs; Charles Kalemba made the call on Wednesday, 27th October, 2021 when he and a team from DoDMA held disaster preparedness meetings with district civil protection committees (DCPCs), which are structures responsible for the implementation of various disaster risk management (DRM) programmes at district level.
Speaking in Blantyre and Mulanje Districts, Kalemba said it was high time the country moved away from fire-fighting approach in managing disasters.
“We need to adopt a new approach, let us enhance preparedness, risk reduction and resilience efforts. We should not be having situations in which communities are rendered helpless when we could have prevented such incidents with proper preparedness and risk reduction interventions.
“DCPCs are not just there to respond to disasters but to come up with strategies that will ensure that impact of disasters is minimised. Response is so expensive, reducing disaster risks save lives and property, the money we spend in responding to disasters can be channeled towards progressive development if we were to focus more on mitigating measures,” said Kalemba.
The Commissioner’s remarks were echoed by the District Commissioner for Blantyre, Bennet Nkasala who said there was need for councils to identify possible hazards and mitigate their impact.
In a related development, 38 households (184 people) from Tipoti Village, T/A Sunganinzeru in Mulanje District have been displaced following a strong winds disaster which occurred on Tuesday. They have since sought refuge at Chisomo Seventh Day Church within the Traditional Authority’s jurisdiction.
Mulanje District Council has provided the affected houses with food as DoDMA is making arrangements to dispatch relief items, today. Kalemba and his team visited the affected households soon after holding a meeting with the Mulanje DCPC.