DoDMA calls for DRM partnership in Likoma

DoDMA calls for DRM partnership in Likoma

The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has called on Disaster Risk Management (DRM) partners in the country to seriously consider partnering with the disaster office in Likoma to enhance DRM interventions.

Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs Charles Kalemba made the call on Wednesday (9 March, 2022) in Likoma during an interface with the District Civil Protection Committee (DCPC) to appreciate disaster risk reduction and response mechanisms; but also how the council implemented the 2021-2022 Lean Season Food Insecurity Response program.

Presenting the district’s report, Relief and Rehabilitation officer for Likoma, Dan Mandala said just like any other district, Likoma is prone to various hazards such as strong winds, dry spells, pest and disease outbreak, earth tremors, lightening and hail storm yet the district has no DRM partner.

Mandala said the development has seen the DCPC relying on the council only to provide resources in such times of need hence delays in responding to disasters.

“The district has no DRM partner which means every operation the committee has to undertake relies on the few resources the council gets.

“We note through radio and social media platforms how some districts are privileged to host a number of partners when disasters hit and yet Likoma registers none. Probably the issue is our geographical position but still, Likoma is reachable and partners can ably work with us here,” said Mandala.

He made an appeal to Kalemba to seriously look into the issue and liaise with humanitarian partners in the country to partner Likoma and ease disaster response operations.

Responding to the plea, Kalemba said it was saddening to hear that the district has no DRM partner when the country has a lot of partners implementing various DRM programmes.

“We have a lot of partners collaborating governments efforts in different parts of the country. It is unfortunate to learn that out of all those partners, Likoma has none,” said Kalemba.

He said that partner’s collaborative efforts make a huge difference hence calling for support from them to consider Likoma.

A beneficiary receiving some of the items

Later, Kalemba presided over distribution of relief items to 78 households who were recently affected by stormy rains.

He then called upon the affected to follow safer building guidelines but also make good use of the relief assistance the council provides.

He said it was high time the council invested in sensitizing the community on safer building guidelines to minimize the impact of disasters such as collapsing of houses.

“My plea to the council is that they should seriously put into use the contingency plan which among others requires them to sensitize the community on safer building guidelines so that moving forward, we will not have houses collapsing due to poor construction,” said Kalemba.

One of the beneficiaries, Rose Lilinga said the relief assistance provided to her will cushion the hardships she is going through ever since her house collapsed.

“Everything in the house was damaged and getting back on my feet will take time,” said Lilinga.

She thanked DoDMA and the council for the timely response saying the relief assistance will make a difference.

Out of the 78 affected households, 58 were registered at Likoma Island and 20 at Chizumulu Island.

The relief assistance included maize, beans, blankets, plastic sheets and plastic buckets.