International Disaster Risk Reduction Day commemorated in Chinhoyi

By Regis Mhako

Stakeholders have emphasised the need for coordination in disaster response as the nation joined the rest of the world in commemorating International Disaster Risk Reduction Day in Chinhoyi this Wednesday.

The commemorations are part of an advocacy platform to create awareness on the need to reduce natural and human-induced calamities.

The event included an exhibition showcasing some disaster response mechanisms that are in place at different organisations.

Guest of honour, Local Government and Public Works Minister Honorable July Moyo said while Zimbabwe is vulnerable to a multiple of calamities, there has been significant investment in early warning systems for both natural and human induced hazards.

“Tremendous achievements have been made towards reducing disaster mortality in Zimbabwe There has been significant improvement in the national early warning system for both natural and human induced hazards. We have embraced modern technologies in monitoring elements of weather and more observation stations are being established to provide credible and near real time data. The same applies for biological hazards in which the disease surveillance system of the country has significantly improved following the infamous Covid-19,” he said.

Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Honourable Mary Mliswa expressed concern over the increase and magnitude of disasters in her province which this year experienced some mudslides in Siakobvu, veld fires, mine shaft and road traffic accidents.

She said: “Statistics speak of an increase in disaster occurrence and magnitude. Recent mudslides in Kariba’s Siakobvu are a case in point. It is imperative that we develop, adapt and adopt strategies to reduce disaster occurrence and magnitude.”

The World Health Organisation representative took the opportunity to call for disaster reduction systems that promote health and social justice.

Meanwhile, Chinhoyi and Chegutu municipality fire tenders demonstrated gaps in disaster preparedness after they failed to perform a drill in which they were supposed to use their equipment to extinguish a fire deliberately started in Chinhoyi Stadium.

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