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Items filtered by date: July 2022
Malawi has emphasised on the need for Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states to invest in actions which will make the region resilient to disasters by among others, investing in early warning systems which will reduce disaster losses.
This year alone, the region has experienced cyclones that brought excessive torrential rains and flooding in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa, resulting in loss of lives and livelihoods; and destruction to infrastructure.
Speaking in Lilongwe when he officially opened a one-day SADC meeting of ministers responsible for Disaster Risk Management (DRM), Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe said it was high time the region strengthened its early warning systems as disasters are impeding the region’s socio-economic development.
“We find ourselves in very challenging times when disaster events are becoming the order of the day in the SADC Region.
“All forms of disasters derail and compromise development gains that the region has made over the past few decades. Notably, the resources dedicated to disaster response and recovery are increasing from one event to another,” said Lowe.
Lowe further said that the nature of disasters that the region is experiencing is becoming increasingly diverse, and the frequency is increasing while the impacts become more severe.
He added that the occurrences challenge the region to reflect and strengthen investments on multi-hazard early warning systems for early action so that Member States can keep track of all the various disaster risks that the region is exposed to.
He said: “We have been implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction for the past seven years, and we are left with only eight more years of implementing this framework. As a region, we need to show tangible results.”
In his remarks, SADC Deputy Executive Secretary responsible for Regional Integration Thembinkosi Mhlongo concurred with Lowe, saying disasters hamper progress and continue to plunge many into deeper poverty.
“Let me call upon all Member States to continue to mobilise efforts towards reducing the vulnerabilities that our communities continue to face through among others, the building of resilience of our communities.
“In a few months, we will be approaching the next tropical cyclone season. I call upon Member States to work with the Secretariat to ensure preparedness and put in place the necessary measures to ensure readiness and prompt responses to these events,” said Mhlongo.
Among others, ministers have approved an allocation of US$ 1.23 Million to be contributed by Member States upon approval by the council. The funds will be used to support member states to implement some DRM interventions.
The meeting has also agreed on need to fast track the operationalization of the SADC Humanitarian and Emergency Operations Centre in Mozambique which is aimed at coordinating humanitarian and emergency support to Member States affected by disasters within the region.
Malawi will on Tuesday (19th July, 2022) host a one-day meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministers responsible for Disaster Risk Management (DRM).
The meeting is being held amidst increasing frequency and magnitude of disasters affecting the region.
Speaking on Sunday in Lilongwe when he opened the senior officials meeting ahead of the committee of ministers, Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba said the severity of the impact of disasters is worsening, which challenges all Member States to strengthen investments in preparedness for early action, mitigate and build resilience of nations, communities and households.
“The meeting we are holding today is critically important in that it will document for the Ministers responsible for Disaster Risk Management the progress that the region is making in implementing the disaster risk management agenda.
“During their meeting, Ministers will among other things, receive progress reports and provide guidance and direction.” said Kalemba.
The committee of ministers will be chaired by Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Lobin Lowe.
The Government of Mozambique has disclosed plans to repatriate citizens who were displaced by Tropical Storm Ana-induced floods and sought shelter in Malawi.
Speaking on Wednesday in Nsanje District during a meeting with officials from the council and the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), Mozambique’s Director of Prevention and Mitigation at the National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD) Cesar Tembe, said his it was high time the displaced Mozambicans returned to rebuild their lives.
“Plans are at an advanced stage to facilitate their repatriation. There is adequate land for their resettlement. We understand that our citizens are in need of a return package, as an institute responsible, in collaboration with our disaster risk management partners, we are ready to provide them with shelter materials and any kind of assistance upon their return, to aid their settling. It will be costly for us to provide the return package while they are here.
“We are working on establishing the current situation, for instance the total population of the displaced as a good number of households returned on their own. We understand there are 1617 Mozambican households, mostly from Morrumbala District, being hosted in eight camps, here in Nsanje, but we also need to have details of the exact areas where they came from to ensure that we are taking them to the right places and provide them with necessary support. This will ease the repatriation process and we are working closely with the Government of Malawi to achieve this.
“We would like to have this [repatriation] process finalized as soon as possible, all things being equal, within two months for are mindful of the next rainy season, which is just a few months from now,” said Tembe.
He then commended the Malawi Government and its citizens for warmly welcoming and taking good care of the displaced Mozambicans.
“It’s not an easy task, the Government of Malawi has been taking good care of the Mozambican citizens through provision of shelter, food, clothing and other basic needs since January this year,” said Tembe.
DoDMA’s Director of Disaster Response and Recovery Rev. Moses Chimphepo said the repatriation resonates with the recovery interventions the Government of Malawi has started implementing following devastating effects of Tropical Storm Ana and Cyclone Gombe.
“We have implemented various response interventions and the focus is now on recovery, the affected or displaced people need to rebuild their lives and engage in social economic development of their country.
“We had over 2500 households from Mozambique who sought shelter in Nsanje District, we now have slightly over 1600 and we are committed to supporting the Government of Mozambique with the repatriation process. They are in the country to sensitise their people on the need to return, the good thing is that the displaced are willing to go back home. All things being equal, we expect the actual repatriation to start from the last week of July [this year].
The Malawi Government has been providing displaced Mozambican households with food and non-food relief items. A fortnight ago, DoDMA provided 850 bags of maize to Mozambicans living at Bangula Camp.
In February this year, the Mozambique Government donated 60 metric tonnes of assorted relief items for distribution to displaced Malawians and Mozambicans living in camps set in Nsanje District. In April, the Malawi Government donated 30 metric tonnes of beans to Mozambique towards supporting people affected by incursions in Cabo Delgado.
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) is training some of the district councils in the country in Grievance Redress Mechanisms (GRM) as government continues implementation of the Scaling up the use of modernised Climate Information and Early Warning Systems (M-CLIMES) project.
M-CLIMES is a six year project and among others, it has installed community based flood early warning systems in 21 sites of flood prone rivers in 8 districts saving lives from flood disasters.
Speaking at Salima District Council during the opening of the training, DoDMA's Deputy Director of Risk Reduction, Fedson Chikuse said M-CLIMES involves many activities and several stakeholders, beneficiaries and interest groups.
Chikuse said concerns, complaints and feedback related to the project implementation are inevitable hence the need for a vibrant GRM for effective project implementation.
“Grievances related to M-CLIMES include gender based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse, theft and abuse of project property and environmental pollution and safety issues, among others,” said Chikuse.
He said the GRM would help to reduce conflict risk of undue delay and complication in project implementation, ensure that the rights of affected parties are respected and provide a systematic way to deal with grievances.
On her part, Salima District Commissioner, Grace Kanyimbiri said the grievance redress committee receives and addresses any concerns, complaints, notices of emerging conflicts or grievances hence the need for the training for an effective committee as they handle all issues of any nature.
Kanyimbiri said as trained, it was important that the committee conducts itself at all times in a flexible, collaborative, fair and transparent manner aimed at problem solving and consensus building.
“Let me commend the department and all implementing partners present here for this very important training as we serve our communities towards developing our country.
“With this training we hope that my dedicated and passionate GRM personnel here in Salima will mainstream what we have learnt, not only for this project, but all projects implemented in the district.
M-CLIMES is funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) through UNDP with DoDMA being the lead Implementing partner.
The trainings will also be conducted in Zomba, Phalombe, Nkhata-Bay, Karonga, Dedza, Nkhotakota and Rumphi.
The Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs; Charles Kalemba has called on farmers in flood-prone districts to enhance winter cropping.
Speaking in Chikwawa District on the sidelines of a visit to places identified for relocating communities displaced by Tropical Storm Ana, Kalemba said it was high time farmers embraced winter cropping to achieve food security at household and community levels.
“It is illogical for farmers to keep on cultivating during the rainy season when their crops end up being washed away. I have visited a number of areas and I am impressed that communities are engaging in winter cropping. This is the path we need to take as a people. Communities need to be self-reliant by engaging in meaningful farming. Provision of relief food should be the last resort,” said Kalemba.
In January this year, Tropical Storm Ana-induced heavy rains affected 71, 716 hectares of cropped area, washing away and submerging crops such as maize, groundnuts, soybeans, tobacco, sesame, rice and cotton belonging to 91,016 farming households.
Veronica Kampira, a twenty-seven-year-old farmer from Kamwaza Village, T/A Maseya; Chikwawa District, concurred with Kalemba saying she has had bumper harvests from winter cropping.
“I hardly plant during the rainy season. In December, [last year] I took the risk [of planting] and all the crops ended up being washed away by incessant rains. Last year, I yielded about 30 bags when I did winter cropping and from the look of things, I am destined for a higher yield this time around,” said the mother of two.
Between December 2021 and April 2022, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) led the implementation of a lean season response programme targeting 1.6 million food-insecure people in all the 28 districts and four cities of the country.
Under the programme, government provided 29,168 metric tonnes of maize valued at K6.56 billion and settled logistical costs for the distribution while development partners, which included WFP, EU/KFW, Irish Aid and UNICEF implemented cash transfers in Chikwawa, Mangochi, Balaka, Neno, Nsanje, Phalombe and Ntcheu.

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2024-07-21 14:19