DoDMA Alert Ahead of Imminent Disasters This Rainy Season
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) says it is on high alert ahead of imminent disasters such as flooding this rainy season.
The Department's Spokesperson, Chipiliro Khamula told Zodiak today government has allocated K450 million for implementation of disaster preparedness interventions.
"Preparedness or risk reduction efforts are not necessarily dependent on the rainy season; we are always implementing disaster risk reduction as well as mitigation efforts throughout the year.
"Nevertheless, we have made a tremendous headway for example under the disaster risk management for resilience project being funded by UNDP and FCDO formally DFID.
"The department through the Lilongwe city council is constructing 500-meter-long drainages in each of the flash flood prone areas of Mtandire, New Shire and Kaliyeka.
"Works started last month and all things being equal, are expected to be completed by November this year. We hope this will help to reduce risks of flash floods in these areas.
He added "the department through Mzuzu city council, has also constructed 700-meter-long drains in flood prone areas of Zolozolo and Chibavi under the same project."
The DoDMA Spokesperson further disclosed that with support from various partners they also installed community based early warming systems in 33 sites across 8 flood prone districts of the country.
"The system is going to enhance early warning amongst communities and ofcourse reduce losses emanating from flood occurrences so much that communities should be able to warn each other in terms of danger.
"Again with funding from the Malawi Government the department has constructed a dyke along the north Rukuru River which is expected to reduce flood risks among surrounding communities.
According to Khamula, Malawi Red Cross Society, also supported the training of 34 members of staff on adminstration of first aid treatment to save lives during emergencies which he said is an ongoing initiative.
"Besides, with funding from UNICEF Malawi we have also trained district civil protection committees structures which are responsible for coordinating and implementing disaster risk management programs at district level. So far 60 DCPC members from Dowa, Ntchisi, Blantyre, Nkhotatoka, Mchinji and Ntcheu. Its an ongoing program," explained Khamula.
Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, Jolam Nkhokwe, on Thursday warned that
extreme weather events such as heavy rains leading to floods are likely to occur in prone areas while some parts of the country may experience pockets of prolonged dry spells during the 2021-2022 rainfall season.
Records at the department indicate a total of 37,132 households were affected by weather related disasters experienced in various parts of the country from July, 2020 to July, 2021.
According to the department, 67 deaths were registered of which 49 were due to lightning. The department also recorded a total of 276 injuries.