Malawi in new drive to tackle climate change disasters

The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has embarked on a new initiative to tackle climate change related disasters in the country.

The development follows the official launch of a new project called Savings Lives and Protecting Agriculture-based livelihoods in Malawi: Scaling Up the Use of Modernized Climate Information and Early Warning Systems (M-CLIMES).

The project is aimed at scaling up the use of modernized early warning systems and climate information.

The M-CLIMES project will reach an estimated three million people in 21 districts.

Principal Secretary in DodMA, Chinthu Phiri, said one of the strategies include the expansion of observation networks.

“The ministry is working with the Department of Climate Change and Metrological Services and other relevant departments to  expand  the network of data generation on climate change issues to save lives in rural areas and other vulnerable areas,’’ he said.

Phiri said another strategy is to strengthen community’s capacity to use early warning systems and information to prepare them for natural disasters.

Phiri added: “this strategy is to be met through the establishment of automatic weather stations which have already been placed in some of the strategic places, mostly rivers which usually flood during the rainy season.”

“With the recordings of the rainfall we would be able to know when we are going to experience floods as such we can warn people to move away from such areas in good time.”

Droughts and floods are major climate change-related effects that impede progress in Malawi.

The floods in 2015 affected over one million people, killing over 100 people and displacing some 300,000.

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