Droughts and floods continue to pose serious threats to life, livelihoods and property across Malawi, with women, children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups the most affected by these devastating events.

27th May 2020, Lilongwe - The Government of Malawi, with support from the Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has embarked on an inclusive disaster recovery initiative to construct 200 weather and flood resilient houses for the most vulnerable and at-risk communities in Zomba and Phalombe districts.

Droughts and floods continue to pose serious threats to life, livelihoods and property across Malawi, with women, children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups the most affected by these devastating events.

In the face of a changing climate, more people are prone to these extreme weather events, which are becoming more frequent, intense and unpredictable. In 2019, Cyclone Idai left devastating challenges in southern Malawi, a country that is already battling with multi-dimension poverty and social economic issues. The heavy rains and flooding linked to Cyclone Idai killed 60 people, displaced nearly 87,000 and affected the livelihoods of around 870,000 persons in Malawi.

The Japan – Malawi - UNDP Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Recovery Initiative, which is also being supported by  the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), will also work to improve on-site drainage systems in flood prone areas, rehabilitate damaged irrigation structures, and community markets and community water points, all in a bid to reduce exposure to flood risks and help protect lives and strengthen the resilience of communities.

Commenting on the new initiative His Excellency Mr. Satoshi Iwakiri, Ambassador of Japan to Malawi, emphasised the key role that trilateral cooperation partnerships can play in the promotion of inclusive disaster recovery and solutions aimed at building resilience of vulnerable communities. “As a key supporter of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Japan welcomes this partnership with Malawi and UNDP to scale up our efforts to ensure that we protect Malawi’s development gains from extreme weather events and reach the vision and ambition of the 2030 development agenda.  It is important to intensify collaboration to help move people out of flood zones and help communities to build back better, stronger and in an inclusive way to ensure no one is left behind”.

The Resident Representative for UNDP Malawi, Shigeki Komatsubara, also said; “The impacts of climate change are already being felt and the poorest are the most vulnerable. Investing to help communities to build safer and weather-resilient homes that can withstand future shocks is therefore one of the key lasting solutions for those at risk.  UNDP welcomes engagement of more players to work alongside the Malawi government, the private sector, civil society and local authorities and communities, to ensure that this initiative plays a catalytic role in scaling up similar initiatives.”

This new initiative will also train over 100 national and district disaster risk management officers and community-based organizations on approaches to inclusive disaster recovery and building-back-better through more consistent application of Malawi’s safe construction guidelines. The trainings will further help build the capacity of local artisans in the communities on safer house construction to replicate in other communities.

The Japan-Malawi-UNDP Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Recovery Initiative will also be supported by other key players including the Ministry of Lands; Housing and Urban Development; Department of Housing; Department of Buildings; and the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA).

For further information please contact;

Madalitso Mbendera, UNDP Communications and Resource Mobilization Analyst madalitso.mbendera@undp.org

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