Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) has developed an advocacy paper which aims to seek recognition as an auxiliary body to the government and review of the outdated legislation establishing the organisation.
The mandate of MRCS has been to provide relief and aid to people affected by disasters and conflict and recently played a big role in the flooding disaster of 2015.
Speaking on the sidelines of a MRCS advocacy paper validation workshop on Friday in Blantyre, the society’s secretary general Mcbain Kanongodza said the auxiliary status of the society was crucial for enjoyment of a good partnership with the government and other stakeholders.
He said the full recognition of the auxiliary role of MRCS would ensure a more coordinated approach to disaster risk mitigation activities in the country.
“We want the government to be turning to us because we have the skills to do the job. But if we had structures in all the districts we would be able to respond emergencies quickly,” Kanongodza said.
He added through the advocacy paper, other national societies that work with MRCS are content with their work and that support is maintained. On the 1966 Act, which established the society, Kanongodza said it was important to have a legislation in place that was responding to emerging issues in disaster management.
Principal mitigation officer in the department for disaster management affairs Stern Kita said the advocacy paper was crucial as disaster risk management was moving from response to building resilience to reduce the impact of disasters.
“We are now moving away from humanitarian focus but ensuring livelihoods become sustainable. The government is learning from MRCS on this,” he said.