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Tuesday, 30 January 2018 08:41

DoDMA says detailed data vital in disaster response

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Mbengo speaks during the meeting - Pic courtesy of DoDMA Mbengo speaks during the meeting - Pic courtesy of DoDMA

Lilongwe, 30 January 2018: The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) says detailed and segregated data is vital in efficient and timely response to disasters.

DoDMA’s Principal Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Natasha Mbengo made the observation on Monday in Dedza District when she led a team of officers in briefing civil protection committees (CPCs) on the collection of data using the simplified disaster rapid assessment form.

“Humanitarian partners have various interests and area of focus in responding to disasters. Some partners are only interested in responding to issues affecting pregnant women or child headed families in the event of a disaster, hence, there is need to capture as much segregated data as possible so that both government and humanitarian partners make well-informed decisions in disaster response,” said Mbengo.

She said apart from simplifying the assessment form, the department, has also translated it to Chichewa and Tumbuka.

“We intend to translate the form into a number of local languages so that we enhance easy collection of data amongst CPCs, which are local structures that are involved in disaster risk management at group village head, T/A and District levels; and other stakeholders in the event of disasters,” said Mbengo adding that the improved forms will be pre-tested in Dedza, Machinga and Rumphi Districts to assess its understanding by stakeholders and thereafter, the form will be further simplified and improved basing on the findings of the pre-tests.

Mbengo said the initial form used in previous disaster rapid assessments was full of technical language which would hardly be understood by a layman.

“The simplification of the form will ease the participation and engagement of disaster affected communities and local structures such as VCPs in disaster response,” said Mbengo.

Secretary of Dedza’s Chikololere Area Protection Committee Jameson Nkhukuyasokera said the simplified disaster rapid assessment form will play a pivotal role in providing guidance under which the CPCs will collect necessary data for improved disaster response.

District Commissioner for Dedza Ellis Tembo said he had hope that the simplified form will bring about collection of accurate and detailed information which will form the basis for the much needed response during disasters.

The disaster rapid assessment form is being simplified, translated and pre-tested with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the Disaster Risk Management Support programme.

 

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