In order to sustain government efforts towards disaster risk management in Malawi, World Vision and the European Union have launched a project to build resilience against natural disasters targeting 5000 residents in Karonga district. Karonga is one of the districts in Malawi often hit by hazards such as floods, droughts and earthquakes.

This project will run from June 2014 to December 2015 and has been titled: “enhancing community resilience through emergency preparedness management” and is being implemented in Traditional Authority Mwilang’ombe and Kilapula in the Lakeshore district.

Humanitarian Emergency Affairs and grants manager for World Vision Malawi, Dingiswayo Jere said that this project particularly aims to reduce risk of flooding of 2 flood prone rivers, Kibwe and Lufilya through improved river embankments, scaling up of conservation agriculture and strengthening of community level structures in emergency preparedness.

“In strengthening of community level structures in emergency preparedness we will partner with existing village committees for community ownership and sustainability of this project. But to increase its impact we have designed interventions specifically targeting children who are mostly vulnerable to such hazards”, he explained.

To achieve this ambition, a nationwide campaign focused on disaster risk management will take place later this year and will be conducted in primary schools with children taking a leading participation.

World Vision and the European Union will be collaborating for a second time in this effort having previously implemented a similar project from 2012 to 2013 in the same district that reduced the risk of flooding and food insecurity for 461 households.

Malawi has of late experienced disasters and its vulnerability is linked to geo-climatic factors and climate change.From 1979 to 2008, natural disasters affected nearly 21.7 million people and killed about 2 596 people.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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