Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act
- Commenced on 16 March 1992
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 2014.]
- [Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated in the Fifth Revised Edition of the Laws of Malawi (L.R.O. 1/2018), by the Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice under the authority of the Revision of the Laws Act.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—“area civil protection officer” means an area civil protection officer referred to in section 23;“civil protection” means any service provided or measure taken for the purpose of preparing for, guarding against or dealing with any actual or potential disaster;“civil protection area” means a civil protection area established pursuant to section 22;“civil protection region” means a civil protection region established pursuant to section 18;“Committee” means the National Disaster Preparedness and Relief Committee of Malawi established by section 5;“Commissioner” means the Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness and Relief appointed under section 3;“disaster” means an occurrence (whether natural, accidental or otherwise) on a large scale which has caused or is causing or is threatening to cause—(a)death or destruction of persons, animals or plants;(b)disruption, pollution or scarcity of essential supplies;(c)disruption of essential services;(d)influx of refugees into or out of Malawi;(e)plague or epidemic of disease that threatens the life or well-being of the community,and includes the likelihood of such occurrence;“Fund” means the National Disaster Preparedness and Relief Fund established under section 34;“planning sub-committee” means a planning sub-committee appointed under section 16;“state of disaster” means a state of disaster declared under section 32;“volunteer” means a person who has applied to be a volunteer and whose name is entered in a register of volunteers established under section 26.
Part II – Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness and Relief
3. Establishment of the office of the Commissioner
4. Functions of the CommissionerSubject to this Act, the Commissioner shall have the following functions—
Part III – National Disaster Preparedness and Relief Committee
5. Establishment of the CommitteeThere is hereby established a body to be known as the National Disaster Preparedness and Relief Committee of Malawi (in this Act referred to as the “Committee”).
6. Composition of the Committee
7. Vacation of office by members of the CommitteeThe office of a member, other than an ex-officio member, shall become vacant—
8. Filling of vacancies on the Committee
9. Co-opted personsThe Committee may, in its discretion, at any time and for any period, invite any person, and the Minister may in like manner nominate any officer in the public service, to attend any meeting of the Committee and take part in the deliberations of the Committee, but such person or officer shall not be entitled to vote at that meeting.
10. Chairman and Vice-chairman of the Committee
11. Allowances of members of the CommitteeA member of the Committee other than an ex-officio member, shall be paid out of the funds of the Fund such allowances as the Minister may determine.
12. Meetings and procedure of the Committee
13. Functions of the CommitteeThe Committee shall be responsible for co-ordinating the implementation of measures to alleviate disasters in Malawi, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing the functions of the Committee shall include—
14. Sub-committees of the committee
15. Non-liability of members of the Committee or of sub-committeesNo member of the Committee or of any sub-committee of the Committee shall be liable for any act or default of his, or of the Committee, done in the exercise in good faith of the functions or powers of the Committee.
Part IV – Planning sub-committees and civil protection plans
16. Planning sub-committees
17. Civil protection plans
Part V – Regional organization of civil protection
18. Civil protection plans
19. Regional civil protection officers and their assistants
20. Functions of regional civil protection officers
21. Appointment of committees and delegation of powers by regional civil protection officers
Part VI – Area organization of civil protection
22. Civil protection areas
23. Area civil protection officers and their assistants
24. Functions of area civil protection officers
25. Appointment of committees and delegation of powers by area civil protection officers
Part VII – Volunteers
27. Reimbursement and indemnification of persons employed in civil protectionEvery volunteer and any other person employed in a civil protection organization established and maintained under this Act shall be reimbursed and indemnified from the proceeds of the Fund to such extent and in such manner as may be prescribed for any reasonable expense or liability incurred by such volunteer or other person as a result of—
28. Disability benefits
Part VIII – General powers of civil protection officers
29. InterpretationIn this Part—“civil protection officer” includes a regional civil protection officer, an officer assistant to a regional civil protection officer, an area civil protection officer and an officer assistant to an area civil protection officer.
30. Orders by civil protection officers
31. Powers of civil protection officers to requisition land and property
Part IX – Declaration of a state of disaster
32. Declaration of a state of disaster
33. Communication to the National AssemblyWhere a state of disaster has been declared under section 32 the Minister shall communicate such declaration to the National Assembly during the meeting next occurring after the declaration.
Part X – National Disaster Preparedness and Relief Fund
34. Establishment of the Fund
35. The Fund to vest in the MinisterThe Fund shall be vested in the Minister and, subject to this Act, shall be administered in accordance with his directions.
36. Advances to the FundIf in any financial year the income of the Fund, together with any surplus income brought forward from a previous year, is insufficient to meet the actual or estimated liabilities of the Fund, the Minister responsible for finance may make advances to the Fund out of moneys appropriated for that purpose by Parliament in order to meet the deficiency or any part thereof and such advances shall be made on such terms and conditions, whether as to repayment or otherwise, as the Minister responsible for finance may determine.
37. Objects of the FundThe objects for which the Fund is established shall be the development, promotion, management and administration of civil protection.
38. Application of the FundWithout derogation from the generality of section 37, the Fund may be applied to—
39. Books and other records of account, audit and reports of the Fund
40. Holdings of the Fund
41. Financial yearThe financial year of the Fund shall be the period of twelve months ending on the 31st March in each year:Provided that first financial year of the Fund may be a period shorter or longer than twelve months as the Minister shall determine, but in any case not longer than eighteen months.
Part XI – Emergency powers of the Minister
42. Minister may take over certain powers and duties during disaster
43. Burial, etc., during disastersWhere the Minister is satisfied that persons have died as a result of any disaster, he may, after consulting with the Minister responsible for health, if he considers that it is necessary or expedient to do so, give directions and make such arrangements as he considers appropriate in respect of—
Part XII – Miscellaneous
44. SecretariatThe Commissioner, every regional civil protection officer and every area civil protection officer shall act as secretary to the Committee and any committee appointed under Part V and any committee appointed under Part VI, respectively.
45. Commissioner, etc., to deliberate at meeting of the Committee, etc.The Commissioner and such other officers as he may designate shall be entitled to attend meetings of the Committee and to take part in the deliberations thereof but shall not be entitled to vote, and regional or area civil protection officers shall similarly be entitled to attend meetings of their respective committees.
46. OffencesAny person, who without lawful excuse, fails to comply with an order, direction or instruction given under this Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of K5,000 or to imprisonment for three years.
47. RegulationsThe Minister may make regulations providing for all matters which, in his opinion, are necessary or expedient for giving effect to this Act.
48. TransitionalIf at the commencement of this Act there are—
History of this document
16 March 1992
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