Vice-president, Everton Chimulirenji, has challenged the media to play a leading role in the creation of a disaster resilient Malawi.
Chimulirenji said this when he opened a two-day Disaster Risk Management orientation workshop for journalists in Salima District on Friday.
Chimulirenji said knowledgeable and professional journalists are key in equipping people in disaster prone areas to prevent, prepare and recover from disasters.
“Media has been playing a vital role in Disaster Risk Management across the country. The Cyclone Idai-induced floods early this year were adequately covered both by local and international media and that helped in mobilisation of resources towards the affected,” he said.
Chimulirenji then maintained that the Department of Disaster Management Affairs will remain open to the media saying the media are partners in disaster risk mitigation drive.
He then warned against fake disaster related stories in this disaster prone season saying they create unnecessary panic among the population.
Secretary to the Vice- President and Commissioner of Disasters, Wilson Moleni, hailed the good working relationship which exists between the department and the media in the creation of a more resilient Malawi.
He, however, said the department noted gaps in technical descriptions of disaster issues; hence, the workshop.
He concurred with Chimulirenji that by extensively covering the Cyclone Idai-induced floods early this year, the media helped in mobilising resources to assist the people who were affected by the floods.
“I hope the interface organised today to fill the gap so that journalists continue with their work in a more knowledgeable and professional manner,” he said.
Misa-Malawi National Governing Council Member, Wiza Ngoma, described the meeting as crucial in disaster risk management reporting in the country.