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- ItemOpen AccessNational Disaster Risk Management Communication Strategy(Department of Disaster Management Affairs, 2014-08-01) Malawi GovernmentMalawi is exposed to many hazards that cause disasters every year, impacting thousands of people across the country. Recently, and as a result of population growth, rapid urbanization, climate change, environmental degradation and other factors, the magnitude, impact and frequency of these disasters has been on the increase. Overall, the hazards that are commonly experienced include floods, heavy storms, droughts, dry spells, epidemics, fires, landslides and HIV and AIDS. Nationally, although 15 districts are considered as disaster prone, experience has shown that other districts are also affected. The country has recently witnessed disasters of high magnitude in districts and areas that have not experience disasters. In addition, disasters, such as floods, have occurred in cities and urban areas, which have traditionally not been considered in national disaster risk management efforts. Malawi has established weather related early warning systems for floods, strong winds, and drought, among others. At present a range of dissemination methods for early warming are used. These include, but are not limited to, radio (national and local), email, television, print media, internet websites, regional and national workshops and mobile and fixed phones. There is, however, limited understanding of the effectiveness of these methods in terms of relevance, impact and appropriateness for vulnerable communities. In addition, although there exist a lot of indigenous early warning systems, practices and beliefs by the community, these have not been studied and documented in detail. The Disaster Risk Management Communication Strategy has been developed as an important tool in the implementation of disaster risk management programmes in the country. The Government of Malawi recognizes the huge impact that disasters have in the socio-economic development of the country and in attaining the development aspirations of the country as outlined in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS II). Apart from the potential loss of life, the main negative impacts of floods, for instance, are damage and destruction of property, agricultural and livestock systems, damage to infrastructure, disruption of social services, internal displacement, separation of children from caregivers and possible trauma and psychological distress. Unless measures are found to address these disaster risks, the Malawi Government, its development partners and other stakeholders will continue spending resources that would have otherwise been spent on productive sectors of the economy. It is, therefore, the desire of the Malawi Government that information on disaster risk management be made accessible to everybody in a form that will be understood and enable people take positive actions to tackle the disaster risks they are exposed to. It is only when people are informed that they can take steps to adopt resilience enhanced practices. The National Disaster Risk Management Communication Strategy (NDRMCS) has been developed to ensure that those exposed to disasters are informed about the risks and are aware of the measures to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from these hazards. Due to the importance of weather, climate and early warning systems in disaster risk management, the strategy has deliberately emphasized the need to integrate issues of weather, climate and early warning systems as a way of preparing communities for disasters. This, importantly, means that we need to find channels of communication that are accessible to all people, particularly the most vulnerable, such as those that are illiterate, women and children, the elderly and people with disabilities. The NDRMCS targets many stakeholders nationwide. These include communities at large, local government, NGOs, private sector, politicians, government agencies, opinion formers, religious leaders, development partners and the general public. The strategy also targets policy makers that play a critical and strategic role in policy development and implementation of disaster risk management programmes. The Government further recognizes the media as an important partner in disaster risk management, particularly in promoting adoption of positive behaviors that contribute to attaining a disaster resilient Malawi. It is therefore my expectation that the NDRMCS will provide a harmonized way of learning, information and knowledge management and communication on disaster risk management issues at all level. If implemented, the NDRMCS should lead to a well-informed nation on disaster risk management. In the long-term, the improved awareness and knowledge on disaster risk management will increase resilience of communities, which is in line with the draft Disaster Risk Management policy and the Hyogo Framework of Action. Successful implementation of the strategy requires continued collaboration, consultation, engagement, participation, resourcing and coordination of all those concerned.
- ItemOpen AccessMalawi: UN Releases US$5.5 million to assist communities ravaged by floods(Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2023-03-23) United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian AffairsThe Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Martin Griffiths, has released US$5.5 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to assist people affected by the Tropical Cyclone Freddy weather system in Malawi, as the devastating toll of floods and mudslides in the country’s Southern Region continues to rise.
- ItemOpen AccessDisaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation(United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2020-06-01) United Nations Office for Disaster Risk ReductionThe Agenda 2030 calls for enhanced policy coherence for sustainable development. In response to this call, in sub-Saharan Africa, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is working on fostering policy coherence among two practices which are closely linked: Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA). By generating more efficient and effective preparedness, response and recovery processes while making more efficient use of financial and human resources, policy coherence among DRR and CCA practices can contribute to a more sustainable development. Nonetheless, as DRR and CCA have been historically managed by different political processes and communities, the way to policy coherence is paved with challenges. Building upon the common aim of the Agenda 2030, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) and the Paris Agreement on climate change, to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience to the impact of disasters and climate change, the report proposes pathways for policy coherence in sub-Saharan Africa based on an analysis of policy documents. In light of the integration spectrum, the report proposes an approach to assess the level of integration - limited, partial or substantial - of the two fields in DRR and CCA policy documents in sub-Saharan Africa. Strategic, conceptual, institutional, operational and financial aspects were analyzed in DRR and CCA strategies from thirty-two (32) countries in the region out of the 44 countries covered by the UNDRR Regional Office for Africa (ROA). ▪ Strategic coherence: looks at whether DRR and CCA are explicitly addressed jointly or if there is an aim to strengthen the relationship and linkages between the two fields. ▪ Conceptual coherence: explores how countries link DRR and CCA conceptually, in particular through the concept of risk. ▪ Institutional coherence: analyses whether coordination between DRR and CCA is envisioned, and if and how institutional arrangements support coherence. ▪ Operational coherence: looks at measures, actions and activities which bring together DRR and CCA practices and to which extent planning is considered cross-sectoral. ▪ Financial coherence: explores whether and how funding strategies and investments bring together DRR and CCA. The analysis suggests that policy coherence is more incidental than structural. Integration of DRR and CCA in policy documents does not seem to be deliberately planned but inadvertent. Although there are conceptual elements which show a recognition of linkages between disasters and climate change, and operational elements which indicate overlapping activities, there is rarely an indication that these are the results of a collaborative process. In the absence of detailed cross-sectoral strategies, the level of collaboration in the design and implementation of activities cannot be assessed.
- ItemOpen AccessAfrica Regional Strategy for Disaster Reducation(New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), 2004-06-01) African UnionAfrica is the only continent whose share of reported disasters in the world total has increased over the past decade. More people are affected by natural hazards, and economic losses incurred are rising. Disaster impacts have become an impediment to sustainable development in Africa. Disaster risk reduction policies and institutional mechanisms do exist at various degrees of completeness in African countries. However, their effectiveness is limited, hence the need for a strategic approach to improving and enhancing their effectiveness and efficiency by emphasizing disaster risk reduction. The African Union (AU) and its New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) offers the opportunity to promote such a strategic change. Indeed, the need to address the issue of disasters comprehensively came to the fore during the process of developing NEPAD’s operational programmes by the NEPAD Secretariat, which provided the impetus for the development of an Africa Regional Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction. To develop the Strategy, a baseline study was carried out to establish the status of disaster risk reduction in Africa. It emerged from the study that development was at risk from disasters mainly because of gaps in the following areas: institutional frameworks; risk identification; knowledge management; governance; and emergency response. In the light of all the above concerns, the aim of the Strategy is to contribute to the attainment of sustainable development and poverty eradication by facilitating the integration of disaster risk reduction into development. The Strategy’s objectives are to: (1) increase political commitment to disaster risk reduction; (2) improve identification and assessment of disaster risks; (3) enhance knowledge management for disaster risk reduction; (4) increase public awareness of disaster risk reduction; (5) improve governance of disaster risk reduction institutions; and (6) integrate of disaster risk reduction in emergency response management. The Strategy suggests strategic directions to achieve these objectives. The following stakeholders have key institutional roles to play in the implementation and monitoring of the Strategy: AU/NEPAD, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Africa Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction1, national governments, major groups (mainly civil society bodies and the private sector) and international development partners. This Strategy, which is to be followed by a Programme of Action, was reviewed at several forums May/June 2004: a Meeting of Experts to discuss the Strategy, an African Regional Consultations on the 2005 World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR), and the Second Meeting of the Africa Working Group on disaster risk reduction. The Strategy was adopted by African ministers at the 10th Meeting of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) from 26-30 June 2004 and submitted to the AU Assembly Summit, where the Strategy was positively received by Heads of State at the 3rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 6-8 July 2004, with a call to develop a Programme of Action for its implementation.
- ItemOpen AccessTropical Cyclone Freddy(Department of Disaster Management Affairs, 2023-03-11) Malawi GovernmentWith Tropical Cyclone Freddy gone, DCCMS indicates that normal rainy season weather conditions will now be experienced. On 13th March, a state of disaster was declared in the 14 districts that were severely affected by the cyclone. Emergency Operation Centre had been set up at the World Food Programme (WFP) offices in Limbe, Blantyre for effective and efficient coordination during the emergency response. Search and rescue of people is continuing in Nsanje and Phalombe districts where people are still believed to be trapped. With the help of sniffer dogs, the Search and Rescue team have recovered 24 bodies (14 bodies on 17th March and 10 bodies on 18th March, 2023) in Soche, Blantyre. Government has received international support in the area of search and rescue and various relief items. As of today, 18th March, 2023, 86,604 households have been displaced, while 445 people have died, 282 are missing, and 918 have sustained various injuries. Public infrastructure such as schools, health facilities, and district and main roads have been damaged in all affected districts. Government through Department of Disaster Management Affairs is coordinating and leading all humanitarian actors in the assessment of disaster impact and needs as well as provision relief assistance to the affected people. The most critical needs are search and rescue for those trapped by flood waters and killed by the mudslide; and the distribution of food and non-food items to the 362,928 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are currently residing in one of the 506 camps set up for those who have lost their homes and belongings.
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