MRCS to strengthen response to natural disasters

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Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) has introduced a new project in Chikwawa, Nsanje and Zomba that will enhance response to natural disasters.

MRCS Disaster Risk Reduction Officer for Chikwawa Darius Chiwaula presented the project during District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting in Chikwawa on Thursday.

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Malawi Red Cross Society to introduce a new project.

Dubbed ‘Enhancing resilience in Malawi’, the project aims at strengthening Malawian authorities, local communities and disaster management stakeholders’ capacities to urgently act to natural hazards when they occur.

Said Chiwaula: “The project lives to ensure that inhabitants from disaster prone Group Village Heads (GVHs) within the Traditional Authority Makhuwira in Chikwawa, Ndamera in Nsanje and Mwambo in Zomba have increased capacities with regards to community based disaster preparedness structures, response and early recovery mechanisms in order to reduce the impact of natural disasters.”

According to Chiwaula, the project which is being financed by European Union Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) will benefit over 240,000 beneficiaries in all the three districts

“And you should also be aware that the project action contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 6, 11 and 13 directly where issues of no poverty, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities as well as climate action are addressed,” he added.

Chikwawa is one of the districts which experiences natural disasters almost every year with the recent ones being the devastating floods in 2015 followed by dry spells in 2016.

The project will be implemented with technical support from the Belgian Red Cross and with crucial support from two additional Red Cross Societies which are leading results which conform to their own technical specialties.

The Netherlands Red Cross is leading an innovative drone based hazard and risk mapping exercise which will identify the areas most prone to flooding and droughts, informing the target areas of the project and improving the accuracy and effectiveness of responses.

Additionally, the mapping supports the identification of zones which are most suitable for evacuation sites.

The Danish Red Cross is developing the capacity of the MRCS to implement rapid Unconditional Cash Transfers, ensuring that vital support is available to affected communities immediately following any natural disaster.

Additionally, the Danish Red Cross is implementing an innovative Forecast Based Financing Pilot, the first of its kind in Malawi.

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