Experts from the construction industry in Malawi, on Thursday and Friday, the 13th and 14th of July, gathered in Blantyre at Sunbird Mount Soche hotel and discussed climate resilient infrastructure in the face of recent weather induced disasters.
Convened under the theme of ‘Incorporating climate resilience in planning, designing and implementation of infrastructure projects: lessons from Cyclone Freddy’, the 4th Construction Sector Joint Consultative Group (CSJCG) conference saw experts brainstorm on the weather reality that as a country and its infrastructure now finds itself in.
Cyclone Freddy, which hit Malawi in the month of February 2023, destroyed a lot of infrastructure in the Southern Districts of Malawi with unprecedented number of lives lost. The cyclone also left behind a trail of destitution for those affected and put a huge strain on recovery efforts on authorities.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day indaba, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Ms. Madalo Nyambose, observed that the conference was a timely collective action aimed at identifying solutions for the country to build back better after the disaster. She further noted that the conference was an opportunity for the Construction Sector Joint Consultative Group to prepare an action plan that incorporates institutions’ commitment to supporting recovery focused on putting up climate-resilient infrastructure; documenting lessons learned, best practices, challenges and proposed solutions related to disasters as well as recovery plan for the sector.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer for National Construction Industry Council, Eng. Gerald Thomson Khonje, observed that underlying all the possible solutions that experts would brainstorm on, was the issue of quality of infrastructure. Said Khonje, “if our infrastructure has to be resilient to the changing climate pattens, it has to answer to the question of quality. If our infrastructure must contribute to the Vision 2063, it has to be of high quality. If our infrastructure is to accelerate social economic growth to create an inclusively wealth nation, it must be Quality Infrastructure. Indeed, our infrastructure must reflect our national aspirations and hope for a better future. This therefore calls for industry agility and innovation”.
The Construction Sector Joint Consultative Group was established by government in order to ensure regular and open dialogue among key stakeholders in the construction sector on how best to achieve and maintain a sustainable and innovative construction sector, one that is positioned to successfully deliver on its commitments.
The group considers wider developments in the construction sector and focuses on issues that may impact on the successful delivery of the National Development Plans such as the MW2063, the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, the Construction Industry Policy and many others. The Group is made up of representatives of key industry bodies, as well as senior representatives of relevant government departments and agencies with responsibilities for policy and for the delivery of infrastructure.