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Region convenes to share notes on disaster risk reduction

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

A regional engagement on disaster risk reduction has kicked off in Victoria Falls, with delegates highlighting areas of collaboration and strides made in mitigating the effects of disasters.

According to a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the SADC region experiences disasters like the 2019 Cyclone Idai, emanating from natural hazards and climate extremes which cause significant loss of life and property, setting back economic and social development.

Speaking on the sidelines of a three-day regional workshop on strengthening disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation mechanisms hosted by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Victoria Falls, delegates from Mozambique and Zimbabwe outlined efforts being made to reduce the effects of natural disasters through science and community involvement.

“No doubt Zimbabwe and Mozambique have been affected by natural disasters in recent years, so what we have done in Mozambique is that we have now set up disaster management committees from grassroots levels. These people are then trained in various disaster response mechanisms to apply in case of a disaster. These communities are also knowledgeable in their areas hence they also have the responsibility to share information with government officials whenever they notice a disaster threat,” said Civil Protection Department, Chief Director, Mr Nathan Nkomo.

“In Zimbabwe, we are supporting flood victims with secure accommodation. In Binga, we are building thirty-seven houses for flood victims. Of these houses, seventeen have been completed and the other twenty are at various levels of completion. In Tsholotsho we have completed 298 with seven still under construction but all the materials have been procured. We are also roping in science through the use of the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA).

Through ZINGSA we are currently mapping the danger being posed by illegal mining activities in Kwekwe and from there we will move to other areas with similar challenges,” said Mozambique National Institute of Risk Management & Reduction Representative, Ms Sonia da Graca Luis Ngovens.

Government agencies responsible for disaster risk reduction and management, academia and other stakeholders are attending the workshop whose objectives include identifying gaps and challenges in disaster risk reduction and management in the SADC region.

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