President Lazarus Chakwera has disclosed that his administration and partners have disbursed a total of K44.5 billion to people affected by climate change this year.
Chakwera disclosed this in Lilongwe Thursday when he presided over the National Children’s Summit on Climate Justice and launch of the National Generation Hope Campaign at an event organised by Save the Children Malawi.
He said climate change effects included two successive tropical storms that destroyed crops and an intake dam at Kapichira Power Station, which compromised power supply in the country.
The Malawi leader said that the country is at a critical time because it can no longer hide from climate change impacts.
“In other places, climate change factors shifted the timing of the rains, causing drought in many areas, which has left 3.8 million people in 27 of Malawi’s 28 districts food insecure.
“We, as government, take it as our responsibility to alleviate the suffering caused by these climate change impacts… This responsibility is the reason why we worked with our partners to disburse K44.5 billion through cash transfers to vulnerable homes affected by these events,” Chakwera said.
The President added that Ministry of Agriculture officials had a meeting yesterday to discuss the issue of drawing maize from the country’s strategic grain reserves for distribution to thousands of households.
One of the child parliamentarians, Josephine Tione, lamented that climate change has affected children in many ways, citing education as one of the areas affected.
“There is no better time to speak about climate change than at present. Climate change has affected us all, but children are affected more,” Tione said.
Natural Resources and Climate Change Minister Eisenhower Mkaka said children’s views that would come out during the three-day summit would be presented to the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference that will take place in Egypt in November.
Save the Children Country Director Ashebir Debebe hoped that children’s voices would come out at the summit and inform the government’s decisions in fighting climate change.
On the day, Chakwera also joined a parade that saw people marching from Capital Hotel Roundabout to Bingu International Convention Centre, where the summit is taking place.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.