DODMA Dares Local Authorities on Disaster Management
Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) Commissioner, Charles Kalemba has challenged Local Authorities to devise their own ways of dealing with natural disasters before they occur to avoid loss of lives, property, and hefty government spending.
Kalemba made the remarks in Nkhotakota on Monday during an engagement meeting with the District Civil Protection Committee (DCPC) where he highlighted the importance for District and City Councils to have independent means of mobilizing relief items which they can use to swiftly respond to emergencies.
“We noted that we are not really looking at what disasters are, such that when a little something happens then people are escalating it to the central level,” Kalembe said
He added local authorities should stop relying on DoDMA for assistance when each time disasters strike instead should work to prevent disasters.
“We want the district Councils to move from dependency to resilience and this requires people to come up with programming that is able to sustain communities”
The commissioner for disaster management affairs said Councils should develop disaster contingency plans that are comprehensive in dealing with disasters.
“When coming up with contingency plans for example, Councils must look at what issues they need to eliminate as part of disaster management,” he said.
Kalemba also bemoaned the systems which have led people to have a dependency syndrome on DODMA even on issues they can resolve by themselves, observing that some leaders were encouraging the malpractice.
Acting District Commissioner for Nkhotakota Ben Tohno has informed them on how to plan disaster response, prevent disasters and create disaster-resilient communities.
“In the past, our planning was focusing on relief items that we would receive from DoDMA. Now we know that we need to marry our contingency plans with livelihood interventions such as irrigation to make sure that people are resilient” Said Tohno.
The department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services has predicted normal to above-normal rainfall in the country this season which may lead to flash floods in some areas.
Meanwhile, DoDMA says it has enough resources and stands ready to respond to disasters when they strike in the country.