Madagascar, Malawi Share Disaster Response Techniques

By Lawrence Chilomo

A delegation from Madagascar recently visited Chikwawa where they engaged with the district’s civil protection committee and representatives of non – governmental organizations implementing disaster response interventions.

Basically, the team wanted to see and learn how Malawi responds and survives different natural disasters, particularly floods.

Chikwawa District Council Principal Administrative Officer, Victoria Wane explained more about flood response; background, collaboration, resettlement, attempts, challenges, successes and recommendations with an emphasis on floods that happened early March this year.

“There were so much challenge during the devastating floods we experienced early this year; for example, Blantyre-Nsanje M1 Road was cut-off which delayed mobilization of resources that impacted heavily on assessment and response,” said Wane.

Speaking in an interview after visiting some two areas that were heavily hit by flooding disasters in Chikwawa, Director of Disaster and Risk Management in Madagascar, Razafiarison Jean Jugus appreciated Malawi’s response to the floods.

“During our interaction, we have noted that Malawi is better in terms of saving people when a disaster occurs especially when we look at how they responded when floods happened early this year.

“Therefore, we have learnt a lot and we will apply these methods in our country especially training of local committees in disaster management affairs,” said Jugus.

On his part, Director of Response and Recovery in the Department of Disaster and Management Affairs, Harris Kachale commended the team from Madagascar for the visit, saying: “We believe that as representatives of a particular country you have benefited a lot in terms of flood response.”

“I should also extend our gratitude because we have managed to share ideas and experiences in terms of managing disasters and floods, in particular,” said Kachale.

Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) has been one of the leading humanitarian organizations in disaster response and management in Chikwawa which constructed 100 houses for flood survivors in Mwalija Village in the area of Chief Kasisi.

MRCS Chikwawa District Coordinator, Cecilia Banda said her organization was still implementing interventions meant to assist flood survivors.

The delegation from Madagascar and their Malawian counterparts in Chikwawa visited flood disaster affected areas of Mwalija Village in Chief Kasisi’s area and Khungulubwe Village under Chief Ngowe. –MANA