Strengthening the resilience of people living in high risk urban and semi-urban areas to weather-related disasters

Research summary

To strengthen the resilience of the people living in high risk urban and semi-urban areas, this project concentrates on establishing an Early Warning System through the improvement of early warning services with the support of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), in close cooperation with the National Meteorological Services (NMSs) of Malawi, government and other main stakeholders at various levels.


The project will determine the best way to disseminate Early Warning Messages produced at NMSs to communities at risk, for instance SMS services (text messages to specific cell phones), community radios or other not previously used in these countries in this context. Additionally, the Red Cross Societies will help the community to create disaster risk reduction local committees, and, with the advice of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Center (RCCC), community risk reduction plans will be developed (including hazard maps, contingency plans and simulation exercises, using the Early Warning -> Early Action approach to ensure that once the message reaches the community, the people will know how to react. Through these measures, communities will adapt to climate change.

The Red Cross Societies with the support of the FMI and RCCC will use the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies (IFRC) VCA tool (Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment) to identify the vulnerabilities and prioritize actions through climate change adaptation micro-projects focused on the use of low-technology solutions implemented by the communities themselves. As a main result, the adaptation skills and coping mechanisms of the targeted areas to weather-related disasters are enhanced and the capacity of all stakeholders to manage the climatic risks is strengthened by promoting dialogue and service delivery between government and urban communities.

FMI contribution:
• Climate Change training to community workers and Red Cross staff
• Development of early warning services
• Capacity building at the Malawi Meteorological Services

Research info

Research title
Strengthening the resilience of people living in high risk urban and semi-urban areas to weather-related disasters

Research timeline
1.9.2011 - 1.4.2014

Climate risks early warning


Finland, Malawi

Finnish Meteorological Institute
Helsinki, Finland

Funding instrument
Other, Business Finland

Head of research
Sonja Björklund

Finnish Red Cross, Malawi Red Cross, National Meteorological Services of Malawi

Contact information
Antti Hyvärinen

Record last updated