DoDMA Keen on Bridging Disaster Preparedness Gaps
The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has admitted gaps on disaster preparedness, saying the focus has mostly been on response.
Reverend Moses Chimphepo, DoDMA Director of Response and Recovery, told Zodiak Online Thursday this has resulted in huge losses to lives and property.
Reverend Chimphepo said; “As a department we want to minimize such losses. Disasters in Malawi are usually weather related. The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological issues alerts of imminent disasters, as a result of normal to above normal rainfall”.
“As a department we need to engage an extra gear, and all the humanitarian partners we should come together and prepare. Preparedness helps us to put everything in order, both logistically and also trying to save lives,” explained Reverend Chimphepo.
He added; “The setting up of early warning systems helps to save lives. It is a very critical area, but we have focused more on providing response when we are already hit. As a department, we want to prepare adequately, so that when we are hit the loss and damages, especially to lives should be very minimal”.
He further described the simulation exercise as critical, in preparedness processes.
Julie Vander Wiel-Hakme, WFP Head of Supply Chain, said the exercise was meant to build the national capacity for disaster preparedness and response targeting those who will respond to emergencies.
“We have involved government partners, NGO partners, and district council officials focusing on nitty-gritties of the core skills that they need to respond”.
He added; “We can all do better, there is always room for improvement. We have learnt a lot over the last cyclone Freddy response cycle. We had a review just last week, where we looked at tangible actions, and have been applied during the training”.
The World Food Program and the government built a Humanitarian Staging Area (HAS) at Bangula following tropical cyclone Freddy Idai in 2019.
Statistics indicate that tropical cyclone Freddy which hit the southern part of the country early this year, claimed over 1000 lives and half a million were displaced.
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