STORY BY —- NEVSON MPOFU .
Harare, Zimbabwe. (News Of The South) – Communities in Zimbabwe prone to disasters and hazards likely to affect people in the areas must work together with the Civil Protection Unit and other partners like the Zimbabwe Red-Cross to implement and mainstream Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation into Local Government planning project.
Speaking in Harare at the Lessons learnt meeting for the mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction [DRR] and Climate Change Adaptation [CCA] into Local Development planning project for Kariba 2016 to 2018.The Civil Protection Unit Director Nathan Nkomo urged communities in Zimbabwe to work together with Local Authorities. These also must engage Civil Protection Unit and other partners like the Red-Cross to address disaster issues adversely affecting them.
‘’The Civil Protection Unit must engage communities and work with partners like Red Cross to reduce disasters which leads to hazards like floods which affects communities adversely.
‘’We need to target villages , wards , local communities , districts and provinces in order to implement , monitor and evaluate activities which are meant to reduce disasters which can affect people.
‘’Also there is need to target implementation of Food Security programs so as to avoid hunger in the future ,because climate change brings with it droughts which may lead to hunger , famine and starvation around in communities , in the country and the region’’ ., he said.
The project which he was referring to is on the verge of its end in June .It is currently running in 10 villages in 3 out of 12 wards in Kariba in areas like Negande , Nebiri and Mola . Also contacted for a brief interview, Red-Cross Society Secretary General, Maxwell Phiri said Red Cross Zimbabwe has the mandate to look at issues of national disasters and hazards .He pointed out that they are ready to reduce any of these and to see to it that all prone communities are not left close to danger since this can lead to vulnerability of communities.
‘’We have structural and non-structural approach to reach to these challenges. We have reached them with not a slight success but strength in whole as we have implemented, monitored and evaluated successful programs for community benefit in prone areas like in Kariba district.
‘’At the same time we cannot do without non-structural approach under which we need to train people in the communities , make them aware of issues which come as challenges and affect them negatively’’, he said.
The structural approach looks at issues of technology put in place to reduce risks related to disasters and floods and these could be like weather station which Red-Cross came with in the area so as to detect weather , for early warning systems so that floods can be avoided before they harm.
Non- Structural Approach looks at training people on alert issues related to Disaster Management especially during the rainy season. Apart from that, there are issues of communicable diseases like cholera, diarrhea and dysentery which are dangerous to communities mainly during the rainy season .He pointed out that there is need for training and make communities aware and sensitized.
Red-Cross also constructed latrines, nutrition gardens, piped water and a reinforced bridge .The bridge was constructed at Mawema River in Negande ward in the district. This was mainly done to avoid spread of communicable diseases like water-borne, food-borne and vector-borne that is cholera, diarrhea and malaria respectively. Nutrition gardens were done for the sake of reducing malnutrition related to kwashiorkor, marasmus and pellagra. Food security programs in the area were raised through the launch of Nutrition Gardens.
The other issue disturbing communities in the area is of crocodiles which are decimating lives of the local fisherman since this is a fishing community. A lot of trainings as pointed out at the meeting were done in the area. Also, there are mechanisms which have been put in place by the Civil Protection Unit working with partners like Red-Cross and NyamiNyami Rural District Council. This activity is co-financed by the EU-funded ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Program, managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.
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