11 May 2017

Malawi: Disaster Interventions Living Out Livestock

Blantyre — Most disaster interventions have been noted to only carter for humanitarian assistance despite the disasters negatively impacting on both people's lives and livestock.

Acting Director of Animal Health and Livestock Development in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Dr Patrick Chikungwa made the observation during the opening of a Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) training workshop in Blantyre on Tuesday.

"Response interventions during and after disasters have mainly focused on humanitarian aid assistance and sometimes crop production when livestock is the critical source of protein in Malawi," said Dr. Chikungwa.

According to Dr. Chikungwa, animals get washed away or drown, Kholas get demolished or washed away and grazing areas get covered with debris, sand or mud.

He said there was need to institutionalize the LEGS approach in the design and implementation of livestock interventions in emergency situations in order to build meaningful resilience for the communities.

"Such interventions include restocking of livestock, provision of veterinary support, feeds, shelter, water and at times quarantine arrangements," said Dr Chikungwa.

On his part, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative, Aubrey Sidik said the training on LEGS would help build the capacity of government officers and other stakeholders to support livelihoods of communities affected by disasters.

"This training envisages that Government and private organizations' (NGOs) staff will be capacitated to make technically sound decisions regarding livestock mitigation strategies in emergencies, recovery and or development programmes," said Sidik.

The training was supported by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID).

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