Mutharika, welcomed home by top officials and hordes of DPP supporters, told reporters on arrival at KIA that speaking on behalf of 41 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Africa, he had bluntly told the developed world ways in which they could fund and provide resources programs for African states to tackle climate change challenges.
The Malawi leader delivered the speech as Chair of the LCDs. He was one of the six African leaders to be invited to the conference, where he said: “I come to affirm that the effects of climate change are being felt everywhere today. Climate change has devastating consequences on real human lives.”
“In scale, this is a catastrophe that is more colossal than any war known to us that the effects of climate change were today being felt globally,” he told the world, represented by over 200 countries in the Spanish capital Madrid.
Mutharika said that everywhere climate change was “taking innocent lives, frustrating national economies and inflicting untold suffering to many people of the world.”
He narrated the Malawi story that the country had suffered four natural disasters in the past five years.
Mutharika recalled that in March this year, Malawi was hit by Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth which directly affected 1 million people and resulted in the loss of 60 lives while many Malawians lost their homes and 672 were injured.
Mutharika said Malawi needs over 375 million dollars for recovery and his government was working towards finding that money.
“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,” he said, adding that Malawi would have made more economic progress without the setbacks of climate change.
He added: “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 said that in spite of the climate change challenges, Malawi was playing her part and fighting climate change. “Climate change is recognized as a key priority in Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, as such, it is Malawi’s policy blueprint for driving the development agenda.”