Amid efforts of giving information on climate change in the country, Malawi government has noted that the use of English is a block in having the masses not just listening but also responding to the various messages shared through different communication channels on the subject.
Government through the department of forestry says communication breakdown is hindering dissemination of climate change information since communities do not get the messages in their local languages.
Speaking during a capacity building engagement for media on climate change and community resilience in Zomba, the department of forestry spokesperson Sangwani Phiri disclosed the challenge that has since slowed the response on mitigation and adaptation to climate change from the general public.
“Almost all our work is done in English or the queen’s language, as Malawi we need to have the information in vernacular be it Chichewa, Tumbuka, Sena and other languages we have so that people can easily get the message to know what we are try to say by mentioning resilience,” said Phiri.
He added that dilution of technological terminologies of climate change matters by media practitioners is another factor that is bringing shakeups in dissemination of information.
While concurring with Phiri, the Association of Environmental Journalists general secretary Charles Mkoka called for the passing of the Access to Information bill arguing that media practitioners fail to gather information that can bring a change in the country.
“For a while we have had talks on Access to Information bill, there are some issues that are very important to the masses but the procedural part to get such information becomes a challenge to share the information,” explained Mkoka.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)‘s project which is under the name “Strengthening community resilience to climate change” and is being piloted in four districts namely; Blantyre, Mwanza, Neno and Phalombe and financially supported by the European Union.