By ZBC Reporter
MINISTER of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo has called upon all sectors to set up their disaster preparedness plans to address both natural and human-induced hazards.
Minister Moyo said this in a statement to mark the commemorations of the International Day for Disaster risk reduction.
“All sectors should have their disaster preparedness plans in place. These plans need to address both natural and human-induced hazards. This year’s theme is about conveying the message that some disasters can be avoided and this can only be possible if there are sound disaster risk reduction plans at all levels that are also sensitive to climate change.
“Zimbabwe has not been spared from climate related hazards, geophysical, technological and biological among them COVID-19; the worst disaster of the 21st century. This compels us as a nation to strengthen our disaster risk governance across all sectors and to take on the challenge of existing threats,” he said.
Minister Moyo said lessons have been drawn from COVID-19 and recurrent climate related hazards require clear vision, plans and competent, empowered institutions acting on scientific evidence for the public good.
“Many people have lost their lives, homes or access to essential facilities, such as hospitals, due to disasters, including droughts, heavy flooding, cyclones and lightning. All of these disasters have caused economic damage to our countries.
“Given these disaster impacts efforts must be mad to raise awareness on risk, upscale mitigation programs, strengthen multi hazard risk assessments, ensure efficacy in response and support early recovery initiatives. Indeed, Government has made significant improvements in ensuring inclusivity in Disaster Risk Reduction matters. All organisations are welcome to participate in national and sub-national Civil Protection Platforms coordinated by my Ministry,” he said.
Adaptation to climate change must be embraced at all cost to minimise its adverse impacts, he said.
“Lessons gleaned from the past must contribute to better management of events in the future. Let us all make concerted efforts to better understand the dangers that prevail in our environs and take the necessary measures to reduce the attendant risks.
“The 13th of October every year is a day that was set up by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction to promote a global culture of disaster risk reduction. This is an opportunity to recognise the progress being made towards reducing disaster risk and losses to lives, property, infrastructure and livelihoods.
“The commemorations are in line with the current “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 which was approved at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015 in Japan. The framework seeks to reduce disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods, social, physical, cultural and environmental assets,” he said.
This year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is premised on “Disaster Risk Governance.”
Disaster risk governance has taken a centre stage especially with the devolution mantra and collective effort is required to avoid creating new risks, and systematically reduce existing ones.
“Sound national, local and institutional plans for disaster risk reduction must be applied in construction, public health, education, agriculture, environmental protection, energy, water resources, poverty reduction and climate change adaptation.
“To this end, the Department of Civil Protection under my Ministry organised a national preparedness planning workshop for the 2020/2021 rainfall season which was successfully conducted from 23-25 September 2020. The workshop was held against the backdrop of a La Nina inclined forecast for the 2020-2021 rainfall season. The key output of the workshop is the National Contingency plan for the 2020/21 season which has since been approved by Cabinet,” he said.