The Civil Society Network on Climate Change (Cisonecc) an umbrella platform for coordinating civil society voice and response to impacts of climate change in the country has called on government to expedite the approval of National Meteorological Policy it drafted in 2014.
In a statement signed by Cisonecc national coordinator Julius Ng’oma, the network says it is sad to note that the process has unnecessarily delayed regardless of the various roadmaps shared.
Ng’oma has since urged government through the ministry of Natural Resources Energy and Mining to quickly adopt and approve the draft policy as it is fundamental in social economic development of the country.
However ministry spokesperson Sangwani Phiri said everything is being done to make sure the policy is approved soon.
“The ministry finished its part and the draft policy is currently with the Office of the President and Cabinet which will then refer it to cabinet.
I cannot say when exactly it will be ready for presentation in parliament, but we are progressing there,” said Phiri.
According to Ng’oma, the policy vacuum has promoted dissemination of false information which puts people at panic.
“The absence of the meteorological policy exacerbates the challenges and constraints that the sector is facing such as weak sector coordination in collection and use of data, inadequate financing investment, limited human resource capacity in various areas, inadequate infrastructure and equipment for effective data capture, processing, archiving and management,” said Ng’oma.
He argued that the adoption of the policy will ensure strong linkages and coordination as regards to the collection and use of weather data and information.
According to Ng’oma the policy will ensure timely and coordinated dissemination of weather and climate information which will help communities to prepare for and mitigate climate related disasters as well as reducing losses in infrastructure and productive activities.
Cisonecc says the adoption of the policy will also assist government to fulfil one of its commitments in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS II) which recognises the importance of improving weather and climate monitoring, predictions systems and information and knowledge management systems as one of the key strategies of climate management.