Authorities Push for Community Empowerment on Search and Rescue Operations
The Ministry of Homeland Security says provision of search and rescue skills to rural communities can assist the country to save lives and property during disasters.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday after Malawi Red Cross Society handed over a Community emergency operations centre in Ndakwera area in Chikwawa, the Ministry' Search and Rescue lead, Benjamin Msowoya said there is also need to ensure the availability of the necessary equipment to enable the people to withstand the emergencies.
“We feel more needs to be done in providing rural communities with search and rescue skills in order to reduce the impact of natural hazards.
"Communities do not need to wait for officials from the district and central government to do the search and rescue work, they can do it on their own,” said Msowoya.
On his part, Malawi Red Cross Society's Head of Planning, Patrick Dunkan Phiri has urged Malawians to construct resilient houses with raised foundations to achieve full protection in times of floods.
“We have supported the people of Ndakwera area with the community emergency operations centre and a rescue boat to assist the people during disasters,” said Phiri.
He added that the humanitarian organisation will continue to implement various interventions to improve the living standards of citizens in Malawi.
This comes when the government and development partners have for the recent years been investing a lot of resources to protect people from disasters, mainly floods.
Meanwhile, ward councilor for Bwabwali ward in Chikwawa, Gerald Bede and Traditional authority Ndakwera have commended Red Cross for constructing the operations center and donating a rescue boat in the area.
“We thank the Red Cross for the assistance. We also ask the organisation to address the hunger situation in the area as survivors of the cyclones are still finding it hard to make ends meet,” said Bede
Early this year, cyclone Freddy killed hundreds of people and destroyed property in the southern region of Malawi.