The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) in Karonga District has on Monday trained Karonga based journalists on effective reporting on disaster risk management to enhance correct and positive reporting.
DoDMA organized a disaster risk management orientation workshop for news reporters based in Karonga that took place at Chitipa District Council Chamber.
Speaking after the workshop, Karonga District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Shepherd Jere said journalists have a vital role to play in the dissemination of information about disaster risk management hence the need for the orientation.
According to Jere, the workshop will help to reduce communication gap between district council officials and the media practitioners.
“Our interaction was meant to share knowledge on what we are doing about disaster risk management and enlighten the media of effective ways of reporting on disaster risk management through which impacts of disasters can be mitigated,” said Jere.
Jere has since urged journalists in the district to put more effort into reporting about the mitigation of the effects of disasters.
“As much as journalists focus on reporting on the extent of the damage of a disaster, they should also focus on reporting on the mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery measures to the communities to reduce the impacts of disasters when they occur,” he said.
On his part, Karonga District Commissioner Paul Kalilombe hailed the workshop saying media is the means of disseminating information about disasters which are regarded as a very sensitive issue.
“It is very important that the media should be oriented on disaster reporting because we want to establish common procedures when reporting on disasters in the district,” Kalilombe said.
In a separate interview with one of the reporters who attended the workshop, Lusekero Mhango described the orientation as an eye-opener.
Mhango further said journalists in the district need more trainings of such kind to effectively report about disasters.
“The workshop has been an eye-opener because we have gained a lot of knowledge on effective reporting on disaster risk management and we need more of these workshops so that we can always report effectively about floods,” he said
The disaster risk management orientation workshop brought together selected reporters who are based in Karonga District.
Karonga district experiences various disasters ranging from floods to earthquakes.