Nsanje Communities Decry Flood Resilience Capacity Gaps
A Village Civil Protection Committee (VCPC) under group village head Khambadza, in the area of Traditional Authority Mlolo in Nsanje, has decried knowledge gaps on flood resilience.
Apparently, such gaps are impacting negatively on efforts to build individual and community resilience to floods.
"On our part, we are trying to implement disaster risk reduction interventions by fighting deforestation for example, but we need more skills on how we can respond and recover from natural hazards such as floods,” lamented Group Village Head Khambadza.
Meanwhile an International organization, Concern Worldwide, has been engaging the communities in identifying capacity and knowledge gaps on flood resilience under a K300 million 3 year Zurich Bank funded flood resilience project, being implemented in seven Traditional Authorities in district.
The organization's Programs Manager, Tommy Chimpanzi, says such findings will help them in designing interventions that are going to be implemented.
"In fact one of the key objectives of the project is to identify capacity gaps among the communities on flood resilience. We will devise ways of addressing such gaps. We will come up with a work plan in collaboration with the communities themselves.
"This project is quite unique because it has research component whereby, we are using the flood resilience management for the communities, a framework which will enable us to capture comprehensive data about the community context, how they are affected by floods, their ability to withstand and all the gaps that they may have," explained Chimpanzi.
He observed that implementation of practical solutions is critical in building the communities resilience to flood disasters.
According to Chimpanzi their main focus is on the floods because "it's one of the natural hazards causing a lot of damage to people and their livelihoods.
"So with the climate frequency and the intensity we may experience more floods ahead," said Chimpanzi.
He further challenged government and other partners in the Shire Valley to prioritize the implementation of practical actions that have proven to have the capacity of building community resilience and that the community should be involved for sustainability purposes.
The district's Relief and Rehabilitation officer, Blessings Kantema, has assured the communities that his office in collaboration with partners will address the concern.
"For people to prepare well they need to understand the existing hazards and the risks so with the existence of these gaps with have the community which is not well aware of what they ought to do in order to respond as well as recover from the effects of natural disasters," explained Kantema.
The Zurich funded project, which runs from January, 2021 to December, 2023, targets 15 Group Village Headmen (GVHs) with over 10,000 direct beneficiaries.