NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Strengthening the Resilience of People Living in High Risk Urban and Semi-Urban Areas to weather-related disasters [NDF C3 C4]

13.09.2013
The project aims to strengthen the resilience of people living in high-risk urban and semi-urban areas of Salima District and Lilongwe City for climate change-related disasters

Malawi
Strengthening the Resilience of People Living in High Risk Urban and Semi-Urban Areas to weather-related disasters
Ref: NDF C3 C4

Nordic Partner: Finnish Red Cross
Local Partner: Malawi Red Cross Society
Other Partners: Finnish Meteorological Society
Total Project Cost: EUR 601,217
NCF Financing: EUR 499,500
Agreement Signed: 21 September 2011
Project Classification: Adaptation / Urban Adaption
Duration: 24 Months (Completed)

Project Objective

The objective of the project was to strengthen the resilience of people living in high-risk urban and semi-urban areas of Salima District and Lilongwe City in Malawi for climate change-related disaster, by ensuring that the information produced by the national-meteorological services is available and practical for the use of target communities, and by enhancing preparedness and risk reduction for climate change-related disasters.

Description

In order to strengthen the resilience of 15,000 people living in high risk urban areas, this project concentrated on improving the early warning system. The Malawi National Meteorological Services (NMS) provided early warning information to the targeted communities. Among other things, the NMS explored the possibility of sending early warning text messages to communities at risk. The improvement of the early warning services has been facilitated through the support of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) in close cooperation with the National Meteorological Services (NMS), the government and other main stakeholders at various levels. Disaster risk reduction committees have been created and community risk reduction plans have been developed, which have given the communities the tools and knowledge to react correctly when they receive an early warning. Disaster risk reduction micro-projects that focus on the use of low-technology solutions will furthermore be identified and implemented by the communities themselves. The project will increase the targeted communities’ capacity to prepare and respond to climate-related disasters. The project has focused on women and children in particular and it is expected that the project will have positive impacts on this target group with respect to food security and disaster preparedness.

The main outputs of the project were:

  • Strengthened capacity of the Red Cross, authorities and other stakeholders at national and local level to manage climate risks
  • Enhanced early warning systems in place
  • Communities’ knowledge and capacity to reduce the risk of, prepare for and respond to climate-related disasters improved

 

Relevance for Climate Change

The project targeted the informal settlements of urban and semi-urban cities located along the coastline or in lakeshore areas. These communities are particularly vulnerable to extreme events such as flash floods, riverine floods and cyclones. Climate change-related emergencies and/or disasters are more destructive in urban areas as there is a greater concentration of people, buildings and infrastructure. In both cities the urban poor, especially those living in unsafe slums, are most at risk.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

This project has been the first experience for the Malawi National Society of Red Cross in working with climate change adaptation in urban areas. Technological innovativeness lies in the defining and implementing a commonly agreed set of warnings that have value for the recipient regarding the changing climate. The project also promoted new ways of communicating early warning information through SMS messages, as mobile telephones are already widely used.

More information

Finnish Red Cross
Malawi Red Cross