Matsapha Town Council (MTC) and the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) have partnered and formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Civic Centre on the 29th of May 2019. The purpose of the Memorandum is to establish a framework between the Town Council and NDMA on disaster risk management in Matsapha to protect and save lives, protect property, protect the economic hub of the country, and further preserve the environment.
The two entities have been working together since the inception of NDMA in 2015 when the Kingdom of Eswatini was experiencing El Nino induced drought, and when Matsapha was facing a serious shortage of water. The partnership was indeed a critical step as it will see to better management of risks and disasters in Matsapha. In support of this the Matsapha Town Council Chairperson, Alice Russo shared how dire the situation was when a natural disaster, Cyclone Domoina, hit the country in 1984. She added that the partnership formed was a key step that would benefit Matsapha greatly should any disasters strike.
Delivering his remarks, NDMA CEO, Russell Dlamini said the signing of the partnership agreement between the two entities is a sign that they will be better prepared when disaster strikes in the future. “Our top priority of signing this partnership agreement is to formulate a Disaster Risk Management Plan, and build the capacity of NDMA, the Town Council staff, as well as staff for other Municipalities in Eswatini.” He further added that it is expected of Eswatini to ensure that all of its Municipalities have a Disaster Risk Management Plan in place, which is Target E of the Sendai Framework which the Kingdom of Eswatini is party to.
Matsapha has a varied and high risk due to its location and the types of businesses that are operating within the urban setting. During the development of the 2018-2014 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) Matsapha stakeholders expressed the importance of formalization of a risk and disaster management plan. The partnership has therefore proved to be a direct action by the local authority aimed at serving the Matsapha community. The Disaster Risk Management Plan that is going to be developed with Matsapha is going to be a model for other municipalities.
Matsapha Municipal CEO, Lucky Sukati said he was honoured to partner with NDMA for the disaster management planning initiatives and interventions in the town. “It has been a while since we started collaborating with NDMA, today we are happy that we are formalising the agreement with them to specifically formulate a plan for the Matsapha Disaster Risk Assessment and the Disaster Risk Management Plan.”
NDMA and the Matsapha Municipality will facilitate Disaster Management and Capacity building programmes aimed at decreasing vulnerability and increasing preparedness and mitigation capacity.