Blantyre,: Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) has bemoaned low levels of local research in disaster management that would guide the designing of appropriate policies and interventions.
Commissioner for DoDMA who is also the Principal Secretary, Wilson Moleni said this on Monday during the opening of training workshop for Integrating Disaster and Climate Risk in Existing Higher Education Curriculum for members of the academia from different Public Universities in the country.
The majority of studies have focused on food security, with very little published on how we can manage the risk of floods and other disasters.
Further, the level of awareness among the people that are coming out of our schools and university on risk avoidance behaviours has been very limited, he said.
Moleni said the Department decided to interact with the academia in order to sensitize them on disaster risk management and start dialogue that should lead in promotion of practices as well as approaches that would contribute to building the resilience of the nation to disasters.
As they develop curriculum, we want them to begin to think about disaster management issues and also to do more research about disasters and how the country can manage them.
We are optimistic that after the training, a lot more papers published about disasters in Malawi and how to reduce these kinds of disasters in Malawi, he said.
Malawi University of Science Technology (MUST) Ndata School of Climate and Earth Sciences (NSCES) Executive Dean, Leonard Kalindakafe said the training of trainers is helpful as it acts as a platform for knowledge exchanging.
As trainers of trainers we need to be gathering and share and exchange knowledge which will enrich our knowledge on issues of disaster management, he said.
Kalindakafe said the training would help in looking at what sort of research the academia should be doing in the areas of disasters like resilience and vulnerability.
We really need to find answers as Malawians want to know what is it that needs to be done if cases of flooding and even issues like cyclone which is a new phenomenon to Malawi, he added.
Deputy Executive Director for Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), Aslam Perwaiz said the training of the academia is of great importance on issues of disaster management and resilience.
During the training, we will be able to help the academia to assess the disaster in different places particularly in rural areas because most flooding impact on the local level.
Using the Geographical Information Systems (GIS), we will help them to map different areas that will continue to flood now and the years to come, he pointed out.
The training which will run from Monday to Friday has drawn the attention of lecturers from the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) and Mzuzu University (MZUNI) among others.
Source: MANA Online