Malawi: Council Advised to Pay Attention to Weather Information

Salima — 2020. Salima District Council has been called upon to pay attention to weather information in order to ensure preparation for any incoming disasters.

The call was made by the Director of the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, Jolamu Nkhokwe, on Wednesday when he presided over a review meeting for the council's 2020-21 Contingency Plan on Disasters which was also aimed at updating the existing plan.

Nkhokwe said council's like Salima need to get prepared of incoming disasters if loss of life and property is to be minimized by ensuring that they keep monitoring weather through daily updates.

"Weather changes every minute, every day, so it is very important that we keep monitoring the weather through daily updates because you can plan for a day or a week, but the plans need to be reviewed so that you adjust according to the messages we give," he said.

The Department produces daily weather updates in order to ensure that information is available for people to prepare.

Nkhokwe pointed out that as the country approaches rainy season, there was need to be mindful of the weather so that people are aware of the hazards that are associated with weather saying that is the time when heavy rains, strong winds and hail storms which can be destructive are experienced.

"It is very important that when we pay attention to such messages it means councils can prepare accordingly to minimize damage," he said.

He called upon councils to ensure that weather information is above anything else in terms of decision making because when disasters strike, it is councils that respond.

District Commissioner for Salima, Grace Chirwa, said the call has come at a right time when the council is reviewing its Disaster Contingency Plan.

She said Salima being a disaster-prone district is at risk hence the need to have a weather monitoring system like getting the updates for proper planning.

Relief and Rehabilitation Officer for Salima, Zione Viyazyi, said the exercise of reviewing and updating the contingency plan was important and timely considering the calamities that have been occurring in the district.

"We really need to have an updated plan so that it is in line with the response plan that we have as a district. The contingency plan has to be there always because it helps councils to respond well when disasters occur," said Viyazyi.

District Contingency Plan is a tool that provides mechanisms and guidance in preparedness for response and recovery from various disasters in a particular season.

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