Saturday, June 15, 2013

Campaigners decry budget allocation to climate change, disaster management

The Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) has expressed

concern at the draft 2013 – 2014 budget allocation to issues of
climate change, disaster risk management and environment management
issues saying the allocations are insignificant.

CEPA executive director William Chadza said this at Crossroads Hotel
on Wednesday at a dialogue meeting his organisation organised for some
parliamentarians to highlight the issues of budgetary allocation to
environmental affairs.

“On the surface the budgetary allocations to these areas have
increased but in real sense the allocations are for personal use in
the ministries and when we compare the value of the Kwacha of last
year and today, the allocations are insignificant.

“We hope that when the specific votes come up the MPs will champion
our issues to effect change and reallocation of the issues we believe
are important and have been underfunded,” said Chadza.

The organisation exposed to parliamentarians how for example the
fertiliser subsidy programme gets 50 percent of the ministry of
agriculture budget but ignores areas such as conservation agriculture
which got 0.16 percent of the ministry’s total budget.

CEPA argues that areas such as conservation agriculture need more
attention as unlike the subsidy programme, they are sustainable.

The analysis by CEPA also laid bare the meagre amount allocated to the
Department of Disaster Management Affairs which has actually seen its
budget slashed by 28 percent in the current draft budget to a mere
K82.02 million.

Budget not Green - Chadza

“There is need for government to review and increase meaningfully the
allocation for the department so that it responds effectively when
called to duty, more especially now when disasters are becoming a
regular and predictable occurrence due to climate change effects,”
reads a report prepared by CEPA.

Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources
chairperson David Luka said his committee is in agreement with the
issue raised by CEPA but also admitted that it is difficult to change
budget figures during committee stage.

“The next step will be to talk to the minister of finance and climate
change management to discuss these issues,” said Luka.

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