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Sunday, 19 August 2018 13:06

Red Cross rolls out K800 million climate project

Written by  Martin Chiwanda

Nsanje, August 13, 2018: Malawi Red Cross Society (MRC) is set to roll out K800 million worth of project dubbed ‘Reducing the impact of Climate Risks in Southern Africa through Disaster Risk Reduction’ in the country’s four districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Zomba and Lilongwe.

Red Cross Society-Malawi Disaster Risk Reduction Project Manager, George Mwimaniwa, said in an interview Friday after meeting Nsanje District Civil Protection Committee that the project aims to reduce the impact of climate risks through strengthening of community resilience, especially of those living in high risk areas.

Through the project, there will also be building of the institutional capacity of Red Cross and other stakeholders to respond to disasters effectively. The project targets over 135, 000 beneficiaries.

Mwimaniwa said the project will strengthen the selected districts in terms of preparedness and resilience against natural hazards caused by climate change variability.

“With the project, we want people or beneficiaries in the targeted areas to participate in the activities to enhance resilience to any climate change impacts. For instance, the communities will be encouraged to establish Village, Savings and Loan Groups so that they can be economically empowered.

“Communities with land potential in irrigation will form farmers clubs and be trained in sustainable agricultural technologies. They will also be supported in both rain-fed and irrigation farming with focus on early maturing and drought tolerant seed varieties.

“Apart from facilitating post-harvest handling activities in the communities, we will also be conducting Vulnerable Capacity Assessment (VCA) to establish community vulnerability and capacities, including report writing,” said Mwimaniwa.

“We also want to see Malawi Red Cross Society being able to act promptly and in coordination with authorities and other stakeholders, in case of natural disasters caused by climate change,” he added.

Nsanje District Assistant Disaster Risk Management Officer, Humphrey Magalasi applauded Malawi Red Cross Society for coming up with the climate change related project which, he said, will address challenges the communities face when disasters strike.

Magalasi noted that most of the communities which are hit by disaster fail to cope due to lack of coping mechanisms.

“Let me applaud Flemish Government, Belgian Red Cross and Red Cross Society-Malawi for the support. Effects of climate change are negatively impacting Nsanje District and its people.

“Therefore, the project will address some of the challenges the communities meet when climate- change-related disasters occur,” said Magalasi.

The project, which is funded to the tune of over K837.5 million, by the Flemish Government and Belgian Red Cross – Flanders, will run for 26 months starting from August, 2018 to September 30, 2020.

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