Japan urges Malawi to strengthen disaster management system

The Japanese government on Wednesday called on the Malawian authorities to strengthen its disaster management system in the face of an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.Japanese ambassador Kae Yanagisawa said the southern African country should be well-prepared in reducing the risks of disasters.

“People should be well-equipped with full information and how to manage them before they are hit by the disasters,” Yanagisawa said as she handed over drought relief items to Malawi’s Department of Disaster Management Affairs in Lilongwe.

She said Japan is equally prone to natural disasters but has managed to minimise the risks by emphasizing on preparedness and other measures.

Malawi Vice President Everton Chimlirenji said his government has prioritized disaster risk management in its development blueprint, the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy.

He revealed that one of the measures is the recent approval of Malawi’s disaster risk management policy, which aims to effectively coordinate programmes aimed at building resilience of communities and the nation.

“The policy outlines the country’s priority areas and strategies to build a nation resilient to disasters,” he said.

Malawi is one of the countries in southern Africa that have been repeatedly hit by natural disasters such as floods, prolonged dry spells, pests and diseases’ outbreaks, strong winds and earthquakes.