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WVM calls for durable solutions relocation process

Flood Survivors camp in Chikwawa pic by Charles Kabena (WVM)

By Tione Andsen

World Vision Malawi (WVM) has recommended that government should ensure durable solutions involving relocation of flood survivors in the country are founded on an appropriate risk analysis.

WVM Associate Director for Advocacy Communications and Justice for Children, Charles Gwengwe said this in a statement issued on Thursday in Lilongwe in view of the aftermaths of the disasters caused by Cyclone Idai in March 2019.

He pointed out that initiatives including relocation plans prioritize safety and protection for women, girls, boys and men.

Gwengwe added that government and other aid agencies should work together to ensure that the relocation goes hand in hand with protection analysis and preparation to ensure safety of children and women in their time of need.

“Children and families relocating should do so, to places where they must be able to find safety and security and be free from danger and risk of injury, considering that the places were badly affected by the flooding,” the Director explained.

Gwengwe said this must be durable, not illusory or unpredictable and safeguarding interventions are prioritized during the response.

He said there is high possibility for the neglect of safeguarding initiatives as part of the response.

The Director said WVM strongly recommends more deliberate focus on safeguarding issues to ensure that children and adults are not violated, especially as they are vulnerable due to the circumstances surrounding them.

“Programmes to address the resulting psychosocial challenges associated with post disaster trauma are needed and need to be strengthened. Children need to be protected from abuse and government need to come up with a plan to help children whose identity documents were lost in the disaster to get replacements,” he stated.

Gwengwe said efforts to address issues of identity should be taken into consideration as most of the children have lost their documents including birth certificates.

He said crisisbrief Prioritize safeguarding interventions during the Response 2 to ensure that enough resources are allocated to be able to holistically address the needs of the affected people while support from individuals, cooperates, the donor community and the government is very commendable, there is still need for additional resources to be able to holistically address the needs of the affected people.

Gwengwe added that WVM strongly recommends for stakeholders to continue resource mobilizing until the affected communities are living sustainably decent lives.

The Impact of Cyclone Idai  and Children’s Protection Cyclone Idai induced flooding made landfall in the country, killed 59, and left 868, 995 affected  with 86,000 people homeless, more than 19,238 homes damaged or destroyed, along with at least 63,444 hectares of crops and approximately 23,000 livestock of different type were affected by the floods, not much has changed.

This has greatly affected food, income and nutrition security of the affected households. Health, education, protection and food security are issues that need to be addressed in an urgent manner in all the affected 16 districts, farmers lost a significant part of their livelihoods.

A significant number of student population are out of schools, either because schools have been destroyed, or been used for shelter by the displaced people. Besides, protection issues have been identified.

Shelter challenges are exposing children, especially girls to sexual abuse.

WVM conducted child protection and advocacy assessment in order to raise awareness for the response.

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