Machinga District Council has started reviewing its disaster risk plan to enhance effective and timely response to disasters.
This follows the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services forecast that the district will lreceive normal to above normal rainfall during the 2021/22 rainy season.
Speaking during the review process on Tuesday, the district’s director of planning and development McPherson Mwakhwawa said the plan is critical to responding effectively to natural disasters.
He said the plan is reviewed every year to strengthen the existing relationships and create new partnerships with disaster risk management stakeholders such as non-governmental organisations.
Mwakhwawa called for planning and preparation of mitigation measures to safeguard lives and property.
He said: “As a district, we need to prepare well so that we can respond quickly to any occurrences. We need to bang our heads and appreciate what each stakeholder has in stock in preparation for any disaster.
“The up-to-date district disaster contingency plan helps to ensure that well-coordinated disaster response is achieved when something happens. As a council, the review is at an advanced stage after completing reviewing area civil protection committees’ plans.”
Mwakhwawa urged the stakeholders to take the review process seriously as it concerns people’s lives.
The 2021/22 rainfall forecast released by the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services indicates that Machinga will likely experience floods.
This has prompted the district council to urge people to relocate to safer places.
Emmanuel International Malawi official Jam Masebo, whose organisation was part of the review process, said the disaster risk plan is crucial in responding to any occurrence of natural disasters in the district.
“This is the right time for the council to ensure that the plan is in place and ready for use when something happens,” he said.