The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) says the academia is key to disaster risk management in the country as they have capacity to conduct research.
Principal Secretary and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Wilson Moleni said this in Blantyre this week when he opened a five-day training with the academia on integrating disaster and climate risk in existing higher education curriculum.
He said Dodma faces challenges in implementing disaster risk management interventions because of limited resources and costly structural risk reduction measures.
Moleni observed that local research to guide the design of appropriate policies and interventions has been sketchy as most studies have focused on food security.
He said: “The level of awareness among [graduates] on risk avoidance behaviours has been very limited. Therefore, we felt we should interact with the academia, sensitise them to disaster risk management and start dialogue that should lead to promotion of practices and approaches that will contribute to building the nations resilience to floods.
“We want them to consider developing curricular to think about disaster management issues and do more research on the same.”
On his part, Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre deputy executive director Aslam Perwaiz, who was among the speakers, stressed the need for government to invest in disaster risk management.
Government, through the department and other stakeholders, is taking measures to deal with impacts of disasters and build resilience of households and communities.
One such initiative is the Malawi Flood Recovery Project, a four-year project being implemented with financial support from the World Bank. n\