Government has given assurance of its readiness in mitigating effects of natural disasters through various initiatives among them relief food distribution across the country.
Minister of Homeland Security and responsible for Disaster Management Affairs Nicholas Dausi said this in Parliament.
In his statement titled “Building resilience: preparedness on disaster prone areas”, the Minister highlighted a number of programs that his Ministry is implementing as a way of mitigating impact of disaster across the country.
One such program is the relief food distribution. Dausi said government has set aside enough maize to distribute to all people affected by hunger as per the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee report which estimates that over three million people are at risk of facing food shortage.
“Mr Speaker Sir, Malawi has been experiencing food shortages mostly in Southern region of the country with the main driving factor being prolonged dry spells. Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report has identified 3.3 million people as being food insecure in 27 districts. These people will require food assistance for a period of ranging from 2 to 6 months from October 2018 to March 2019,” the Minister told the House.
The Minister raised a concern that despite all efforts government is putting in place to mitigate natural disasters such as floods, dry spells, disease outbreak just to mention a few, the country is still experiencing human made natural disaster which is hindering progress. He cited construction of houses in flood prone areas as a practical example happening in most areas.
“Lack of enforcement of building regulations and by-laws in cities and districts has made it difficult for the department to assist the cities in mitigating disaster risks. People continue constructing their dwelling houses in flood prone and risky areas which make them vulnerable to different hazards,” lamented the Minister.
He then called on fellow legislators to join hands in sensitizing the public on the dangers of such practices. Dausi has since urged Members of Parliament to consider using constituency development funds to address disaster risks in their areas by implementing small scale mitigation projects.
According to the Minister, Malawi is making headway in its effort to build a nation of resilience of disaster, through a number of interventions like the review of disaster preparedness and relief act to align it with disaster risk management policy. He told the House that the country has been losing a substantial amount of money in the recent past as a result of disaster response hence the need to continue implementing resilience programs.
Source : MBC