DEDZA-(MaraviPost)-The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has emphasized the need for general public to take early warnings seriously in disaster preparedness.
The department says early warnings help communities to be alert ahead of any disasters for less casualties.
DoDMA commissioner Charles Kalemba told International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) commemoration gathering on Thursday, October 13, 2022 at Goshen Primary School in Dedza that the department is geared up with early warning messages to the public ahead of rainy season.
Under the theme; “Early warning and early action for all”, this year’s IDDR commemoration focuses on the 7th target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030.”
Kalemba observes that this year’s rainy season is similar to that of 2021/2022 which had torrential rainfall coupled with cyclones.
He therefore disclosed that Malawi Government has set aside over MK76 billion for mitigating effects of disaster.
The commissioner said this year’s IDDR commemoration aims at ensuring that appropriate early warnings are timely and consistently received, well understood and acted upon by the intended audience with the goal of reducing losses and damages resulting from disasters.
Kalemba however complained that Malawi continues losing lives despite the investments the country has made in the early warning system.
“This year’s theme is of significance considering the number of disaster events that have claimed precious lives, eroded economic gains and disrupted service delivery across the country.
“In commemorating the day, we are also aiming at bringing awareness on the global targets reflected in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Each year, from 2016, we have been focusing on one target of the Sendai Framework, what has been termed as the Sendai 7 campaign, 7 targets for 7 years. This has been the practice for the last 6 years and this year being the last year,” he said.
Kalemba therefore commended donor partners including World Bank through the Malawi Resilience and Disaster Risk Management Project, Government of Malawi, World Vision Malawi; Care International; Save the Children; International Organisation for Migration; United Purpose in collaboration with Self Help Africa, COOPI, Concern World Wide; and Malawi Red Cross Society for always being friend in the timely need.
Ministry of Water and Sanitation ‘s Principal Secretary (PS) Elias Chimulamba urged Malawians to pay attention to details regarding the early warning messages, which will be provided.
Chimlambe assured that Malawi Government is ready to respond to this year’s disasters.
In her remarks, Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) Director of Programs, Prisca Chisala, who represented development partners, promised to continue supporting the Malawi Government in order to implement the disaster strategies.
Chisala said as partners to government, they are working towards supporting the department to disseminate the weather forecast to all the districts.
She therefore disclosed that MRCS is working with the Department of Disaster Management (DoDMA) to review the contingency plans, which will be critical in supporting preparedness actions at different levels.
“Another key message, Sir is encouraging the households living in disaster prone areas to move to higher and safer places. This remains paramount as a preparedness action.
“It is our duty to ensure that the communities are prepared ahead of the forecasted weather and that they take the timeliest required action,” Chisala said.
Some of the activities being implemented at community level are building the capacity of civil protection structures at all levels, provision of early warning equipment to enhance prompt action, undertaking simulation activities to measure the level of our preparedness.
The commemoration has attracted communities leaders, villagers, primary schools learners, government officials, media and civil society organizations.
The event started with solidarity march from Thukuli village to Goshen school.