DoDMA trains Blantyre District Council in humanitarian response

Blantyre, Mana: Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) in conjunction with the World Food Programme (WFP) has inducted Blantyre District Council on how to conduct the Emergency Food Assistance Programme.

Relief and Rehabilitation Officer for DoDMA, Efford Kachigwada Tuesday said the training was aimed at preparing district council officers and non-governmental organizations in responding to lean season humanitarian assistance which is scheduled to start this month.

He said Emergency Food Assistance Programme is a very important initiative which requires people who would implement it to have the requisite skills and knowledge to effectively execute the activities.

We expect to improve knowledge on targeting procedures of beneficiaries and food distribution mechanisms. We hope by the end of the training, officers will know complaints and feedback handling mechanism besides having knowledge on the beneficiary registration, Kachigwada said.

He disclosed that similar trainings were being conducted in various districts of the country.

Blantyre District Agricultural Development Officer, Linda Mphande described the training as an eye opener, saying it would help council officers on best methods of targeting beneficiaries and distribution of relief items.

The training has oriented us on beneficiary registration, sensitization, targeting procedures and complaint and feedback mechanism that will help us in responding to humanitarian assistance, she said.

Mphande commended government for targeting the district for humanitarian assistance considering that many people were in dire need of food.

Blantyre district is highly vulnerable because of last year’s drought which led to dwindling crop production. The relief assistance will help vulnerable households to at least have food for a short period of time, she added.

DoDMA is expected to start distributing relief maize to 26, 000 households in Blantyre this month.

According to the report of Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC), the district has about 34 per cent of households in need of food assistance.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA