By Absalom Shigwedha
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has started training people from southern Africa in taking anticipatory actions ahead of disasters.
According to a statement from the FAO office for southern Africa, the region is frequently hit by disasters that result in increasing levels of food insecurity and malnutrition.
The online training which runs from 7 April to 20 May 2021 called ‘Developing Anticipatory Action System’ will guide countries through the process of developing anticipatory action systems for agriculture and food security.
The first training session is being rolled out to participants from Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe with a total of 35 people participating.
Patrice Talla, FAO’s sub-regional coordinator for southern Africa said waiting for a disaster to occur and reacting to its impact is no longer an option and more emphasis needs to be placed on anticipating risks and acting early.
He said although it is a fairly new concept, FAO is pioneering an integrated approach to anticipatory action through capacity building in the region, starting with high priority countries.
Southern Africa is the first region to get this training, which has e-learning and practical components and uses drive learning modalities to encourage teamwork, group participation and knowledge sharing.
FAO said anticipatory actions are interventions implemented in a definite time-frame between an early warning trigger and the peak of a disaster, with the scope of mitigation or preventing its impact on lives and livelihoods.
Anticipatory Action can help prevent widespread loss of life, large-scale damage to agriculture and related assets and reduce risk among communities so that they can recover easier and earlier after a disaster.
The training programme is conducted under the project entitled ‘Scaling-up Early Warning Action for Agriculture and Food Security’ financially supported by the German governent.