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Vice President calls for rapid Response to YONECO Helpline Services

Vice President calls for rapid Response to YONECO Helpline Services

The Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, RT Honourable Dr. Saulos Chilima called on various service providers and stakeholders in Malawi to provide rapid response to cases that are referred to them by YONECO’s Tithandizane Helpline Service Centre.
The Vice President made the remarks when he visited a YONECO pavilion at Katoto Ground in Mzuzu City where Malawi joined the rest of the World in commemorating the international Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR). RT Hon. Dr. Chilima commended YONECO for managing the helpline services which he said is key in providing support to communities during emergencies. He however said for the Helpline to be effective, there is a need to ensure that all necessary service providers are effectively responding to the issues that are reported through the toll-free lines. On disaster risk management, YONECO displayed how it ensures that the youth, women and children are protected by raising awareness through Theatre, SMS tool and its Radio Station (YFM) which has a nationwide coverage. YONECO also deploys helpline caravans to disaster-affected areas whereby counsellors provide among other things; psychosocial support, first aid, as well as sanitation and hygiene kits. Among other services, YONECO deployed Helpline Caravans in Chikwawa, Nsanje and Phalombe during the 2015 Floods in Malawi. During this period, the Toll free helpline number (116) was being publicized and used by community members to report various cases including sexual exploitation, Gender Based Violence (GBV), and failure to access to health services. Further to this, with support from World Food Programme (WFP), YONECO also provided a community feedback system during the 2016 distribution of relief food in Malawi to ensure that the exercise was fare and corrupt free. The commemoration started with a solidarity march from Mzuzu Civic Offices to the venue. The event was also spiced up by various performances including; drama, traditional dances by YONECO Theatre Troupe and other community groups. YONECO Band played National Anthem before and after the event. In his key note address, the Vice President also applauded YONECO FM Radio Radio for broadcasting the event live. RT Honourable Chilima stated that the Live broadcast will help to esnure that many people in the country are following the proceedings and be able to necessary and critical information about disaster management. The IDDR is a global awareness event that is aimed at recognizing progress and encourage further efforts to build disaster resilient communities and nations including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. The theme for this year’s commemoration is, Home Safe Home – Reducing Exposure and Displacement. Among other people, the vent was graced by the presence of; Florence Rolle- Acting United Nations Resident Representative, Clement Chinthu Phiri – Secretary to the Vice President and Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, His Worship Councilor William Mkandawire – Mayor for Mzuzu City, as well as Dr. Macloud Kadammanja – Chief Executive for Mzuzu Council.

Lemani Makina

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