Malawi’s government is being challenged to develop mechanisms that will see the country reducing overdependence on foreign agencies for funding in climate
The southern African nation has already has faced the harsh impacts of climate change which include floods and droughts that led to death and displacement of hundreds of people.
Experts in the sector insist even when the country has a low capacity of mobilising resources on climate financing, dependence on donor money is tricky since it is unpredictable.
National Youth Network on Climate Change (NYNCC) Programs Manager Dominic Nyasulu, insists Malawi has had a bad taste of climate change and must act fast.
“The challenge we have is that we rely much on donor money for climate financing and as a result it comes at a wrong time due to its unpredictability and leaves people suffering still,” lamented Nyasulu.
He further indicated that much as money for disaster preparedness or climate change is mainly sourced from foreign agencies, government is trying its best through the use of the national budget.
Apart from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other foreign agencies assisting Malawi on climate financing, help also comes from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Minister of natural resources, energy and mining, Bright Msaka shares the same views on local resource mobilisation.
“What is clear here is that we must find innovative ways of finding resources finding finances for environmental degradation and must not at all times depend on foreign support,” highlighted Msaka.
The minister believes forests that have been restored can help Malawi avoid climatic impacts and therefore communities must learn to source funds for that on their own to cover more areas.
Malawi government has already started walking the talk by encouraging communities in forests restoration as a long term solution.
Under the Bonn Challenge, it is expected that 4.5 hectors of land in Malawi will have restored and regenerated forests by the year 2020.
This week, National Forest Landscape Restoration and National Charcoal Strategy strategies have been launched to help mitigate the climate change impacts.
Officials from Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development are still consulting on what to do next regarding a drought insurance policy.
Government in 2015 bought a drought insurance policy costing almost $5million Dollars in preparedness for the 2015/16 agriculture season.
The insurance policy was bought from African Risk Capacity (ARC) Insurance Company Limited.
There was a setback however when the company failed to make a payout during the time Malawi was hit with droughts and the money has come in this year in December.
Alxex Namaona who is Director of Planning Services for the ministry of agriculture indicated that Malawi indeed took long to get a payout and they are trying to analyze what really went wrong.
“We are trying to find out what really went wrong, but from the onset, I believe the system of modeling that ARC uses could not be ideal for Malawi’s situation,” explained Namaona.
Parts with the country were hit by drought in the past few years which left thousands in need of food aid.
A report by Action Aid titled The Wrong Model for Resilience had revealed that Malawi made a mistake to buy the drought insurance policy.
The report indicates that the insurance policy was an experiment that failed Malawi, in particular its women, in the face of a drought that need not have become a disaster.
“The insurance failed to deliver on its promise of timely assistance, which 6.7 million food-insecure Malawians sorely needed, due to major defects in the model, data and process used to determine a payout,” says part of the report.
Action Aid acting country director Muhamed Sillah commented on the matter by advising government not to go back to the insurance policy and must focus much on consultations and use of locally found means to curb the challenges.
Officials from the ministry of agriculture and other stakeholders including those from the ARC Company Limited were last week engaged in a meeting where they want to draw lessons from the drought policy.
They believe further consultations will be done to determine a way forward on whether or not Malawi should rely on such insurance policies as the one from ARC.
Traditional leaders and their subjects in Karonga have demanded sustainable projects from Mzuzu University (Mzuni) based researchers under the Urban Research Advocacy Centre (URAC) in a quest to combat the impacts of climate change.
Some farmers in Mzimba have expressed doubt of receiving normal rainfall amid delays in the rainfall onset.
Three NGOs in Malawi have launched a community based empowerment project in a bid to alleviate the adverse effects of climate change in the southern Africa nation.
The mission is being implemented in the district of Karonga, located some 554 km north of the capital, Lilongwe.
The National Youth Network on Climate Change (NYNCC), Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and Word Faith have together embarked on the campaign funded by Global Green Fund (GGF).
The yearlong project will mainly focus on community and youth participation in the extractive industry and climate change mitigation.
Speaking to Capital FM, the programme manager of the project, said the organisations will engage community members to empower young people and women so that they take leading roles in the society.
Dominic Nyasulu went on further to say that Karonga is basically one of the districts that are badly affected by mining companies which are involved in the extraction of different minerals.
Furthermore, it is also one of the districts that are usually hit by floods due to environmental degradation and climate change.
In addition, the project’s quest is to enlighten locals on how they can address the impacts of climate change that directly affect them.
The youth and women are reported to be the most vulnerable to climate change hence the need for them to be empowered
According to Nyasulu the project is inventing small initiatives like conservation agriculture and tree planting.
This is done with the use of various structures such as community based organisations (CBOs), clubs in and outside schools where youths can be coordinated and come together to respond to the challenge supported by district structures.
Malawi has this year experienced drought and flooding which are said to be some of the effects of climate change.