Department of Disaster Management Affairs
Established through the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act of 1991, the Department of Disaster Management Affairs is the Government of Malawi’s agency responsible for coordinating and directing the implementation of disaster risk management programmes in the country in order to improve and safeguard the quality of life of Malawians, especially those vulnerable to and affected by disasters.
Sustainable reduction of disaster losses, in lives and in the social, economic, and environmental assets of communities and of the nation.
DRR programmes in Malawi have been aligned to the HFA, through a DRM policy that has the following six priority areas:
- Mainstreaming disaster risk management into sustainable development;
- Establishment of a comprehensive system for disaster risk identification, assessment and monitoring;
- Development and strengthening of a people-centred early warning system;
- Promotion of a culture of safety and adoption of resilience-enhancing interventions;
- Reduction of underlying risks; and
- Strengthening preparedness capacity for effective response and recovery
- SADC DRR Platform
- African Region DRR Platform
- Global DRR Platform
- Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery
James Chiusiwa, Director for Disaster Risk Reduction, Department of Disaster Management Affairs
- Mainstream disaster risk management in every ministry, department’s, CSOs and the private sectors’ development policies and plans;
- Lobby Ministry of Finance to create a budget line for disaster risk management for ministries, departments, city, municipal and district councils;
- Designate focal points for disaster risk management in institutions in all sectors.
- Develop national standards and operational guidelines for conducting comprehensive disaster risk assessments that are in accordance with international standards and best practices;
- Acquire risk information by systematically collecting data from scientific, indigenous sources and disaster risk assessments;
- Generate and disseminate risk information and early warnings to stakeholders at all levels and in particular, to communities at risk;
• Establish community based early warning systems;
• Establish and integrate early warning systems, which will have linkages to other early warning and monitoring systems, including community based early warning systems.
- Develop and implement a national public awareness and education strategy that engages the media, takes into account indigenous knowledge and reaches all stakeholders;
- Integrate disaster risk management concepts into the primary, secondary and tertiary curricula;
- Strengthen media capacity to enhance the dissemination of disaster risk management information to the community;
- Strengthen and coordinate disaster risk management information gathering and sharing among stakeholders through systems and networks; and
- Promote interdisciplinary and policy oriented research on locally appropriate disaster risk management technologies and approaches.
- Develop mechanisms to ensure that all existing and future environmental protection, natural resource management and climate change policies and plans at all levels include disaster risk reduction to build the resilience of vulnerable groups and communities;
- Develop and enforce appropriate building codes and safety measures including retrofitting, in all sectors to enhance resilience to prevailing hazards and to improve the safety of dwellings, lifeline infrastructure and public buildings such as hospitals, schools, office blocks and market places;
- Incorporate disaster risk reduction measures in urban and rural land-use development zoning and planning which are rigorously enforced;
- Develop mechanisms to ensure that all major infrastructure and construction project proposals are assessed for any induced social and vulnerability risk implications
- Develop multi-hazard contingency plans at national, district, area and village level in accordance with the prevailing hazards as identified in comprehensive disaster risk assessments for the coordination and management of disaster response and recovery operations at all levels;
- Establish functional emergency operations centres that are equipped with the necessary infrastructure, resources and technology;
- Establish database mechanisms to maintain records of emergencies and disasters that will facilitate the review of response and recovery plans and procedures;
- Liaise with Ministry of Finance to dedicate a proportion of the national budget to disaster risk management activities in ministries, departments, city, municipal and district councils for disaster response and recovery operations;
- Provide relief assistance in conformity with international standards
Promotion the establishment of disaster risk management committees in all cities
The Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitments (SFVC) online platform allows stakeholders to inform the public about their work on DRR. The SFVC online platform is a useful toolto know who is doing what and where for the implementation of the Sendai Framework, which could foster potential collaboration among stakeholders. All stakeholders (private sector, civil society organizations, academia, media, local governments, etc.) working on DRR can submit their commitments and report on their progress and deliverables.