By Thumbiko Nyirongo
Malawi President Professor Peter Mutharika says the effects of climate change are negatively affecting the social-economic development of the country and the world at large.
President Professor Mutharika made the sentiments on Monday as he was addressing the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Madrid, Spain.
In his powerful address, the Malawian leader Professor Mutharika said climate change is the greatest enemy to development of the country.
“Man is at war with nature. Climate change has become the most catastrophic tragedy of our time. In scale, this is a catastrophe that is more colossal than any war known to us.
“Everywhere, climate change is taking innocent lives, frustrating national economies and inflicting untold suffering to many people of the world,” said Professor Mutharika
Mutharika also narrated how Malawi has suffered from the effects of climate change citing the living examples of 2015 and 2016 floods which claimed the lives of innocent Malawians.
“The story of my country is a story of many countries. Malawi has suffered four natural disasters in the past five years. In 2015, we had drought that was immediately followed by heavy rains and floods.
Crops failed, infrastructure destroyed and people died. In 2016, we had floods. Crops failed, infrastructure destroyed and lives lost,” narrated President Mutharika
He added: “Every time there is a natural disaster, crops fail, the back of our agro-based economy gets broken and the economy falters. And a weak economy takes long to recover from the effects of natural disasters. Malawi would have made more economic progress without the setbacks of climate change.
“This is the double tragedy of the developing world. The weaker the economy, the more fragile the existence of our vulnerable people, and the more we suffer the shocks of climate change.
The more a weak economy suffers the shocks of climate change, the more we lack resources to fight climate change.”
Mutharika then told the summit that despite the challenges Malawi has developed a number of policies such as National Climate Change Management Policy which aims at fighting climate change.
“Malawi is playing her part and fighting climate change. Climate change is recognized as a key priority in Malawi Growth and Development Strategy. This is our policy blueprint for driving the development agenda.
“We have developed a National Climate Change Management Policy to specifically manage to adverse effects of climatic change, Said Professor Mutharika
President Professor Mutharika is expected to return home from Spain on Tuesday through Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe.