Homeland Security Principal Secretary Sam Madula has observed that government’s lack of seriousness and commitment to punish people who settle in disaster-prone areas in the country is worsening the impact of natural disasters.
The PS has since urged officials from government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to pounce on such people, saying the country is losing millions annually due to disaster-related problems.
He was speaking in Mangochi on Monday during a disaster resilience leadership training which has drawn directors from various MDAs to discuss ways of promoting disaster resilience.
“It is regrettable that Malawi suffers effects of disaster every year. Much as we can say that disasters are inevitable, the building of houses in disaster- prone areas is inducing the disasters,” hinted Madula.
He said it is high time government got tough on punishing such people to save resources that are channelled to providing relief to disaster victims.
In his remarks, World Bank senior disaster risk management specialist Francis Nkoka stressed the need for Malawi to intensify efforts of building capacity among local people to manage disaster risks.
He said after the 2014/15 incessant floods in Malawi, the World Bank embarked on a project called Malawi Flood Emergency Recovery Project aimed at equipping people with skills in managing the risk of natural disasters and how to prevent the disasters.
“It is against this background that we have this meeting today to capacitate government with such knowledge. We hope it will go a long way in mitigating natural disasters,” said Nkoka. n