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Thursday, 28 February 2019 05:52

DoDMA grooms 80 trainers in disaster & climate risk management

Written by  Wallace Chipeta

Thyolo, February 28, 2019: Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has embarked on disaster and climate risk management trainings of trainers (ToTs) for selected government ministries and departments to help break the cycle of disasters that affects millions of people in the country.

DoDMA’s chief mitigation officer who is one of the training facilitators, Dr. Stern Kita said the department would, in conjunction with Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) facilitators from Bangkok-Thailand, train 80 senior government technical officers in two cohorts.

Speaking to Malawi News Agency Tuesday, Dr. Kita said the trainings are held within the framework of a four- year Malawi Flood Emergency Recovery Project (MFERP) designed in response to the 2015 floods.

The project is implemented by different government institutions with financial support from World Bank.

The first cohort of a two-week training runs from February 25 to March 8, 2019 at Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Thyolo District.

“We need to move ahead as a nation and find ways of breaking this cycle of disasters so that we can reduce the number of affected people,” said Kita.

The Chief Mitigation Officer observed that through the ToTs, his department would have dedicated national team that would ably provide support to different stakeholders in disaster risk management (DRM) trainings.

“We also hope that we (trained government officers) will all become champions of mainstreaming disaster risk management in our policies, plans and programmes at national and sub-national levels.

“As a nation, we have faced disasters every year, particularly floods, strong winds, dry spells and droughts. Every year, we lose assets worth millions and spend millions of kwacha responding to disasters. We recognize that the impacts of disasters are very devastating,” he recalled.

ADPC capacity development specialist, Mr. Avelino Ave Filio Jr. said, “When there are disasters like floods, people will always say it is the act of God, but tell them that they can do something about it.”

He urged participants to change the mindset of people who do not respond to early warning systems until they are affected by disasters such as floods, which make them either lose their lives or property.

The training aims at addressing gaps by building the capacity of disaster risk management stakeholders in government system to effectively coordinate disaster risk management interventions.

The other objective is to address the needs of the affected population and build resilience of communities and the nation at large.

On the training agenda are key topics such as disaster risk reduction, mitigation, preparedness, resilience, planning, monitoring and evaluation as lined up by DoDMA and ADPC facilitators.

As part of the training, DoDMA would also organize field visits so that trainers could contextualise disaster issues that would be discussed in the training.

The second cohort of trainers would be trained from March 18 to 29, 2019 at the same venue- MUST.

Among the ministries and departments represented in the ToT are Agriculture, Education, Health, Information, Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Finance, Gender, Homeland Security, Local Government, Climate Change and Meteorological Services, Nutrition, Forestry and DoDMA. 

Besides ToT for government’s senior technical officers, DoDMA would arrange for another session for academia to discuss how they could incorporate disaster risk management issues in their curriculum.

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