Titukulane Equips Teachers on DRM
Education authorities in Mangochi and Zomba districts have admitted that failure to plant and take care of trees around schools is one of the major contributing factors that have left many schools vulnerable to disasters.
Chief Education Officer (CEO) for Mangochi District Council, Rabson Kawalala, made the confession Saturday in Liwonde during a training of patrons and matrons teachers for primary schools’ Disaster Risk Management (DRM) clubs in Mangochi and Zomba districts supported under Titukulane project.
Kawalala said the situation on the ground is not impressive, as some schools are on the open and are prone to destruction from strong winds.
“It is very unfortunate that we have allowed a situation where our schools are bare and the roofs of the classrooms are very prone to storms,” said Kawalala.
The CEO applauded Tukulane project for the initiative saying once the teachers are trained they will ably equip the learners who will also replicate the knowledge in their communities.
“On our own as an office in Mangochi for example, we have distributed 60 thousand polythene tubes in schools to encourage them to plant more trees this year, but our target is 120 thousand to control the situation,” explains Kawalala.
Burnnet Khulumbo, Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction Manager, for CARE Malawi, one of the organisation’s implementing Titukulane said the project regards youths as agents of change and school clubs are one good channel to penetrate the communities with DRM interventions.
“This program is not only targeting the pupils, we are also working with the village civil protection committees, in each area where we have these schools trained on DRM issues, but youths are one of our targets,” said Khulumbo.
He added that, implementing partners of the project, Emmanuel International in Mangochi and Save the Children in Zomba have distributed tools like wheelbarrows, shovels and watering cans in schools they are working with to make sure that they have vibrant tree nurseries and forests.
Khulumbo said the project is currently working with 20 primary schools in Zomba and 25 primary schools in Mangochi with funding from USAID.
At least 28 schools in Mangochi district were affected by tropical cyclones last rainy season with their roofs blown off and walls collapsing, according to the council.