Mzuzu University (Mzuni) says lack of knowledge about occurrence and mitigation of natural disasters is a major contributing factor to different tragedies happening in the country.
Mzuni vice-chancellor Professor Fred Msiska said this on Thursday in Karonga during a workshop marking the end of a five-year Urban Africa Risk Knowledge (Urban Ark) research project in the district.
He said provision of adequate knowledge about disasters should be an entry point for any stakeholder dealing with issues of disasters in any area.
Msiska said people need to know how disasters occur, what causes them, and signs of such disasters before being told appropriate actions to be taken.
“For example, on prevention of cholera, we have been telling people to excrete away from water sources including boreholes.
“Further, we have left them with a knowledge kit. Before they drink water, they will be able to test it. They can use the colour of water to know if it is safe to drink,” he said.
Msiska added that people in flood prone areas have been told to ensure that foundations of their houses are erected higher, to allow them enough time to prepare for evacuation.
Karonga District Council director of administration James Tembo said the knowledge imparted to the people will improve disaster management in the district.