The Civil Society Network on Climate Change(CISONECC), has made a submission to the Government of Malawi proposing for the inclusion of experts with expertise in relevant fields such as Health, disaster management from government ministries and departments, CSOs, NGOs, Academia and private sector in the Covid-19 Ministerial Committee to ensure that the committee benefits from various expertise that will assist the county to better respond to this Corona virus pandemic.
CISONECC says there’s need for a multi- sectoral response that bring the Civil Society closer to national and local level planning under the coordination of government and the need to intensity mass awareness campaign to rural masses using local languages such as Chichewa, Tumbuka, Yao, Sena and Lomwe to ensure that Malawians have adequate and correct information of this disease and on their role in curbing the further spread of the virus.
This is contained in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Julius Ng’oma and Sophie Makoloma, the Board chairperson dated 9th April, 2020.
In a statement, the CISONECC is commending the efforts that the Government of Malawi has put in place, President Peter Mutharika declaring a state of disaster in Malawi as a measure to prevent cases of the virus in the county, directing all schools to be closed with immediate effect, restricting gathering to less than 100 people and banning travel to Malawi from countries highly affected with the disease.
CISONECC is also commending government for instilling a Ministerial Committee on Covid-19 to lead national efforts in combating the virus and President Mutharika for ordering all institutions to work in shifts to decongest work places , cancelled all formal meetings, gatherings and the Ministry of Disaster Management Affairs and Public Events developed and launched national Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan for US$ 200 million.
“As much as we commend these efforts, the CISONECC believe that there is more that the county can do to counteract this global pandemic,”reads the statement in part.
The Government of Malawi should empower Malawi Broadcasting Corporation ( MBC) and other private media houses to expand their programming and ensure that they are raising awareness within the citizenry on the virus and how the citizens can be assisted within their localities to manage the pandemic.
However, CISONECC noted that the risk analysis in the just launched National Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan may not yield the much expected results in managing the pandemic recommending that Government of Malawi should rework on the Risk Analysis to ensure that national vulnerabilities are clearly captured .
CISONECC Board, Secretariat and its members reaffirms its continued commitment to addressing impacts of climate change and disasters through risk management in partnership with the Ministry of Disaster Management Affairs and Public Events and other stakeholders, pledging its implementation support of Covid-19 Response Plan from its diverse expertise through its membership across the county and partners beyond its borders to quickly reduce the spread of Corona virus.