Civil Society Network on Climate Change has made several recommendations to the Tonse Alliance government on climate change and disaster risk management in the country.
The network, which coordinates civil societies on climate change advocacy and disaster risk management legal and policy framework and action, made the call at a press briefing in Lilongwe on Friday.
In a statement, the network’s national coordinator Julius Ng’oma said there is need to increase budgetary allocations to the climate change and disaster risk management sector which comprises the environment, forests, wildlife and natural resources management sectors.
He said: “These sectors are crucial to the adaptation and mitigation to climate change impacts in Malawi. Experience has shown that climate change, disaster risk management and environment and natural resources management issues in general have received some of the least budgetary allocations from government.”
A 2018 Irish Aid analysis showed that during the implementation of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II, climate change, natural resources and environmental management received the least financial allocation with less than one percent of the national budget allocation between the 2011/2012 and 2015/16 financial years.
However, in the past five decades alone, the country experienced 19 major floods and seven severe droughts.
Ng’oma called for the need to finalise the draft Disaster Risk Management Bill, considering the gaps that the Department of Disaster Management Affairs and other stakeholders have been highlighting in relation to the sector.
On his part, the network’s board member Blessings Chinsinga said it is crucial for President Lazarus Chakwera to prioritise climate change management and disaster risk management.
He said: “It is very important for us as representatives of the community of civil society working in climate change and disaster risk management to highlight that we are alert and give our recommendations to the newly elected government. We recognise the gravity of climate change and its impact on the economy, the environment.”
The organisation has been working with government in strategising and developing policies and plans that guide and govern the management of climate change and disaster risk management in the country.
The country has several policy documents that address climate change, including the National Climate Change Management Policy, National Climate Change Investment Plan, National Climate Change Programme and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III.