20 January 2018
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Friday, 12 January 2018 12:03

Mangochi stakeholders, communities equipped with disaster management skills

Written by  Marvelous Zinga

Mangochi, January 12, 2017: Communities from disaster prone areas and stakeholders from Mangochi and Machinga have undergone disaster management training aimed at developing capacity in preparedness and mitigation of impacts of climate change.

The three-day training, known as Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP), which ended on Wednesday, took place in Zomba and was organized by Concern World Wide in conjunction with Save the Children, United Purpose and Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy.

PSP facilitator, McPherson Kapalamula said the knowledge gained will enable the participants to read and interpret general early warning signs of disasters which will in turn allow them to make informed decisions way ahead of time.

The participating communities from disaster prone areas of the two districts were drilled in using both scientific and indigenous weather forecasts to read, interpret and avert the impending disaster.

"Communities are supposed to make their own plans focusing on the seasonal weather forecast for that particular year. They should also be able to develop related messages and always be ready to respond," said Kapalamula who works with United Purpose in Balaka.

He added, “Our aim is to build the capacity of communities to generate messages on one end and the stakeholders on the other end to act on the massages they receive pertaining to climate change.”

Project Manager for Concern World Wide, Tommy Chimpanzi, said Mangochi continues to be affected by effects of climate change every year but observed the district still lacked capacity to prepare for the same.

"We want communities to be able to come up with strategies on how best they can conduct themselves before the disasters occur so as to reduce the magnitude and cost of damage," said Chimpanzi.

One of the participants, Phinesi Nkopu, from Katuli in Mangochi concurred with Chimpanzi and hailed the organizers for the training.

"It’s true that we cannot just wait for disasters to strike and for government and well-wishers to bring hand-outs. This knowledge we have acquired today will really make a difference,” he added.

Mangochi and Machinga are among the 15 districts in Malawi that were declared disaster districts by President Prof. Peter Mutharika.

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