Malawi Vice President hails World Vision's Disaster Risk Reduction efforts

By Lindiwe Bandazi, World Vision Malawi Communications Officer

The Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, Saulos Chilima has said the construction of a river dyke in the flood prone area of Karonga district which will save thousands of people from flooding by World Vision is a very commendable effort that can promote development.

He says the humanitarian organization is complementing Malawi Government’s effort to move focus from response to mitigation as a good measure in disaster management.

He made the statement during the commemoration of the International day of Disaster Risk Reduction recognized worldwide on 13th October.

Malawi held its commemoration event in Karonga district in the north of the country, an area vulnerable to floods and drought due to its geo-climatic factors.

Vice President Chilima also observed that as this year’s theme for commemoration; “resilience is for life; the elderly and disasters” suggests government and Non-Governmental Organizations must support each other to protect the most vulnerable by reducing the risk of disasters.

“Today is the genesis of inclusion of the elderly in disaster risk reduction. World Vision and other Non-Governmental Organizations have assisted Government in disaster response and mitigation. World Vision has constructed dykes in Karonga and other areas, let us support them in these efforts”, said the Vice president.

Furthermore, the Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and social welfare Patricia Kaliati said “isolation and lack of physical stamina” leaves the elderly unable to participate in disaster risk reduction and management which is unfortunate.

She explained, “However, old people’s knowledge is vital in disaster risk reduction. They know traditional coping measures and early warning signs. Government therefore gives World Vision a tap on the back for tapping knowledge from the elderly in their disaster risk reduction efforts”.

Earlier, before the Vice president and the Minister arrived at the commemoration venue, they flew over Lufilya River where the dyke is being constructed to witness and check the progress of the project.

World Vision is constructing the dyke with funding from the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection which is expected to be complete before the start of rainfall season between late November and early December.