BLANTYRE – MALAWI says it is ready to fight against the effects of natural disasters in the country.

Homeland Security Affairs Minister NICHOLAS DAUSI, also responsible for Disaster Management, has told the National Assembly some of the measures include relief food distribution across the country.

His statement titled Building Resilience: Preparedness on Disaster Prone Areas says his Ministry is implementing a number of programs to mitigate the impact of disasters.

Minister DAUSI says the government has set aside enough maize to distribute to all people affected by hunger as per the MALAWI Vulnerability Assessment Committee Report.

He says the study estimates more than THREE-MILLION people are at risk of facing food shortages, which the country has been experiencing mostly in SOUTHERN Region due to prolonged dry spells.

MBC News says the MALAWI Vulnerability Assessment Committee Report has identified THREE-POINT-THREE-MILLION people as being food insecure in 27 districts.

It quotes Minister DAUSI as saying the affected communities will require assistance for a period of between TWO to SIX months, from OCTOBER 2018 to MARCH 2019.

Minister DAUSI has expressed concern that despite all State efforts to mitigate natural disasters such as floods, dry spells, and disease outbreak, the country is still experiencing manmade disasters hindering progress.

He gives as examples the construction of houses in flood prone areas as practical examples happening in most areas.

Furthermore, lack of enforcement of building regulations as well as by-laws in cities and districts has made it difficult for the authorities to assist municipalities in mitigating disaster risks.

Minister DAUSI has also called on legislators to join hands in sensitizing the public on the dangers of such practices, and they should consider using constituency development funds to implement small-scale mitigation projects.

He says MALAWI is making headway in its effort to build a nation of resilience to disaster through a number of interventions, like the review of the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act to align it with the Disaster Risk Management Policy.

Minister DAUSI has told the National Assembly the country has been losing a substantial amount of money in the recent past due to disaster responses, hence the need to continue implementing resilience programs.

In 2005, SADC established the Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis Program, which has helped strengthen vulnerability assessment and analysis systems.

The scheme aims to inform broader approaches to tackling food insecurity including safety nets and social protection in the Sub-SAHARAN-AFRICA Region./Sabanews/cam

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