The Government of Malawi, with the support from UNDP, has secured funding from the Green Climate Fund to scale up the use of modernized early warning systems (EWS) and climate information in the country. The project will work with communities in disaster prone and food-insecure districts to co-develop tailored weather- and climate-based agricultural advisories to be disseminated through ICT/mobile, print and radio channels. The project will also scale up best practices in community readiness to respond to disasters and mitigate key risks. Community-based EWS will be scaled up in flood-prone areas and capacities to use and respond to warnings will be strengthened at the national, district and community levels.
The project is being implemented in 21 districts by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), in collaboration with the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS), Department of Water Resources (DWR), Department of Agricultural Extension Services (DAES), Department of Fisheries (DoF), and the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM).
The project intends to install a number of hydro-met stations/equipment that includes automated weather stations (AWS), hydrological stations and lake based weather buoys. In accordance with the Environmentl Management Act of 1996 for Malawi Government, Environmental and Social Screening (ESS) was done by Environmental Affairs Department (EAD) at 53 sites identified for installation of automated weather stations, hydro-stations, lake based weather buoys and lighting detection sensors. The screening concluded that installation of hydro-met equipment will have very limited spatial and temporal impacts and will not have significant adverse environmental and social impacts. The findings of the assessment conducted by EAD resonates with the findings of social and environmental screening assessment conducted by UNDP during project design. The screening confirmed that the overall social and environmental risk category for this project is low and the project will provide a number of significant environmental benefits by enabling better predictive management of droughts and floods and risk informed planning for agriculture and fisheries, the project will yield environmental benefits through strengthened ecosystem resilience and improved soil and water quality. Support to water resource use modelling will also enhance sustainable water resource planning and use. Although the EAD assessment concluded that the level of the potential social and environmental risks associated with the installation of hydro-met equipment is low, it recommended the project to develop a generic environmental and social management and monitoring Plans (ESMP) to mitigation risks to any anticipated environmental and social impacts, minimal as they may be, arising from installation of hydro-met equipment. In the above context, UNDP Malawi is looking for a consultant to develop ESMP plan for the hydro-met sites.
The consultant is expected to undertake this assignment by reviewing and analyzing existing reports and engaging key stakeholders including the local communities at the proposed installation sites in order to gain a thorough understanding of the existing socio-economic and bio-physical conditions. The consultant is required to undertake comprehensive field visits and collect all the necessary data which will form the basis of his/her recommendations. The consultant is also required to review the ESS assessments conducted by UNDP and EAD and come up with appropriate ESMP measures that are compliant to standards established by the government of Malawi and UNDP.