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Civil society organisations press for Met Policy adoption

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Civil society organisations (CSOs) have expressed concern over what they as an ‘unnecessary delay’ to adopt the National Meteorological Policy whose development started in 2014 by government.

The policy will assist to address the vagaries of climate change that continue to ravage socio-economic activities in the country.

“The absence of a policy to inform and guide climate change and meteorological sector has other challenges and constraints such as inadequate financing and investment, limited human resource capacity in various areas, inadequate infrastructure and equipment for effective data capture, processing, archiving and management.

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“Furthermore, weather and climate information dissemination and public awareness is significantly affected by the policy vacuum,” Julius Ng’oma, Civil Society Network on Climate Change National Coordinator, said.

The adoption of the meteorological policy would ensure there is adequate and strong sector linkages and coordination as regards the collection and use of weather information.

Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy Senior Programme Officer (Cepa) Dorothy Tembo-Nhlema said the line department promised several dates of completion but the policy has not materialised.

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“It is worrisome to see that the policy that could support Early Warning Systems (EWS) is being delayed like this. EWS is inadequate in this country, which leads to poor response in planning for uncertainty. The policy could break the ground and be the starting point in preparedness. We, therefore, call for speedy consideration,” she said.

Tembo-Nhlema commended government for coming up with the policy which has also gone through a comprehensive stakeholder consultation.

She said Cepa is one of the CSOs that have been greatly engaged in the drafting process.

Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Chief Director Yanira Ntupanyama said substantial progress has been made on the policy, which is a supplement to National Climate Change Management Policy in Malawi, which needs the support of all Malawians.

Malawi has recently been hit by a series of climate-related disasters in recent years, the recent one being the 2015 floods that affected over one million people in 15 districts. The nation has also been awakened by increased urban flooding in major cities, which requires a strong instrument to guide preparedness.

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