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IOM applauds Zimbabwe for sound disaster risk reduction mechanisms

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

A regional engagement on disaster risk reduction has officially opened in Victoria Falls, with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) applauding Zimbabwe for putting in place robust disaster risk reduction mechanisms.

According to a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the SADC region is experiencing an increased number of disasters of the magnitude of the 2019 Cyclone Idai, causing loss of life and destruction of property while also setting back economic and social development.

Addressing participants at a three-day regional engagement on strengthening disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation mechanisms in Victoria Falls this Wednesday, the IOM indicated that Zimbabwe has fairly dealt with disasters in the past.

“We can describe Zimbabwe as a good candidate when it comes to disaster management, the right word to use is that Zimbabwe is a trailblazer in the region interns of disaster management. If you consider that Zimbabwe has an action plan for disaster management, which include setting up various committees at national, provincial, and local levels to manage disasters. If you went back to 2019, when Zimbabwe was struck by Cyclone Idai you will see that great improvement has been made in disaster preparedness and response mechanism for the country,” IOM Regional Office representative, Mr Sylevester Deane said.

Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable July Moyo stated that the government’s climate-proof agriculture and urban renewal programmes are part of disaster risk reduction interventions in the country.

“We have taken a bold stance to introduce urban renewal so that we redesign urban areas to prevent disasters, some of the problems in urban areas are historic. Those who have built on wetlands, water channels and low-lying areas will be relocated. We have also introduced climate-proof agriculture to ensure that people have adequate food for themselves, and the results have been impressive,” said Honourable Moyo.

Other measures put in place by the government for disaster risk reduction include the operationalisation of several community radio stations around the country to expedite dissemination of disaster-related information and the launch of the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency.

SADC developed a Regional Migration Policy Framework (2022) which has sections on the nexus between human mobility, migration, disaster risk reduction and climate change.

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