Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) has facilitated the establishment and training of a search and rescue team in Likoma District.
The team will be responsible for providing life-saving interventions during disasters and marine accidents.
Speaking on Tuesday when she presided over the opening of the training, Dodma chief relief and rehabilitation officer Natasha Mbengo said the island had been operating without a search and rescueteam despite being one of the disaster-prone districts in the country.
She said: “Likoma’s exposure to disasters is not dependent on seasons. The district is exposed to strong Mwera and Chiperoni winds as often forecast by the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services.
“Due to its geographical position, the district experiences a lot of marine accidents resulting in loss of lives and property. As a department, we are following a request by Likoma District Council.”
Mbengo advised the team members to be committed to their cause as they will be working on voluntary basis.
Likoma District Council director of planning and development Leonard Kathalowamo commended Dodma for the training.
He said: “It is barely a month since we made the request for the establishment of a search and rescue team. For the first time, Likoma has a search and rescue team.
“We are committed to supporting the team in any efforts aimed at saving lives and property.”
Eighty percent of the team comprises local fishers from Chizumulu and Likoma islands.
The team underwent a two-day training which include basic water rescue, basic fire search and rescue.