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Dodma devolves disaster management functions

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The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) has devolved some of its functions to local councils to enable them to manage disasters at their level.

Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, Ben Botolo, said this in Lilongwe at a local councils’ consultative meeting on devolution plan and management guidelines for disasters.

Botolo said empowering local councils to deal with disasters at their level would ensure speed and efficiency in management of disasters.

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“We have devolved some functions to councils to manage disasters. There are functions which are normally taken by councils and we want to equip them [councils] to perform those functions. In the past, they would call us to get direction on how to respond to disasters. But now we want them to take full control of management of disasters.

“So we want the district commissioners to buy in the plan which we have developed. They should have the capacity to handle disasters. They will have their own money, material, personnel and other resources. This means that each council will have its own budget which will have to be mainstreamed in the normal budget from Treasury,” said Botolo.

District Commissioner for Ntcheu, Paul Kalilombe, speaking on behalf of fellow DCs, welcomed the plan and said the councils would be able to respond to disasters with speed.

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In 2015, floods hit the country leaving some people dead and property lost. President Peter Mutharika declared a state of national disaster.

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