Despite being hit at least five times by natural disasters recently, as well as being rated second on the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committe (Mvac) index, Mzimba District is yet to develop a disaster contingency plan (DCP).
This development puts vast populations susceptible to post- disaster consequences.
This came to light during an interface meeting, the Civil Society Agriculture Network (CisaNet) organised last Friday in Mzimba, with the district’s Disaster Preparedness Committee as well as other technocrats involved in food production and disaster resilience programmes.
The district director of administration (DOA), Thomas Munthali, who is also the desk chair for the Disaster Preparedness Committee, confirmed the absence of the much needed plan, but bemoaned lack of funds as the major challenge to develop one.
He said: “We are aware of the consequence of not having such a platform in mitigating direct impacts of disasters, but as a district we cannot manage to finance the process on our own from Other Recurrent Transactions (ORT), funds which are always not enough.
In his remarks, CisaNet programme manager Alfred Kambwiri said CisaNet is complementing government’s efforts towards a hunger free nation.
He said: “Absence of the disaster contingency plan breaks the network among stake holders as they do not know their roles when disasters strike.”
The Malawi Mvac report estimates that over 224 000 people are at risk of being affected with hunger, following hectic growing season attributed to sporadic rains the nation endured this year.