Humanitarian Staging Area Launched in Nsanje
A Humanitarian Staging Area (HSA) has been commissioned at Bangula in the flood prone Shire Valley, authorities say the facility is critical in saving lives and fast-tracking response during natural disasters.
This is a joint venture between the Malawi Government and the World Food Program (WFP).
WFP Head of Partnerships and Capacity Strengthening in Humanitarian Logistics Services, Silvia Rossi Tafuri, told Zodiak Online yesterday that “it was clear that one of the weaknesses was collaboration in response.
“This exercise really is crucial because it has put coordination and collaboration among the actors in place. The exercise started with assessment phase involving all health stakeholders including the health cluster and Unicef but also other organizations,” explained Tafuri.
She added; “so the exercise has been tailored in a way that tackles this issue so that the organizations that are represented here as trainees and trainers will be able to quickly activate when the next emergency hit.
“We will continue supporting the government of Malawi and all organizations that are involved in emergency response and preparedness. WFP has a mission to save lives but also to change lives and we do that through preparedness and this is one of the best examples of preparedness at the service of partners.”
Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Charles Kalemba, told Zodiak Online “this will minimize loss of lives, we prepositioned boats here, as soon a disaster happens, we will be able to dispatch boats from here.
“We used to take boats from Monkey bay and Lilongwe, by the time you are here some have died, that’s why we lost lives, but this time around the boats will be prepositioned here but also people and food items.
Malawi Red Cross Society Acting Response and Recovery Specialist, Mercy Chalimba, who has been attending a five-day simulation at the facility says, “this is critical in avoiding duplication as relief will be prioritized as distributed accordingly.”
WFP says the facility would cost over $2 million to be fully operational.