Cabinet yesterday received and approved the Proposed Emergency Preparedness Plan for the 2021/2022 rainfall season presented by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable July Moyo to mitigate climate-induced hazards, which are on the increase in the country.
Addressing the media during a Post Cabinet Press Briefing in Harare, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said that the climate-induced hazards are not only affecting Zimbabwe, but the SADC region as a whole and that they are becoming more complex to manage.
“These hazards include droughts floods, hailstorms, lightning, and strong winds. The country has also witnessed increased incidents of a geo-physical and human-induced nature such as landslides, earthquakes, environmental degradation, veld fires, road, rail, air, water craft, mining, industrial accidents, spillages and explosion of industrial chemicals,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa reported that the Emergency Preparedness Plan has been put in place with a view to reducing potential losses due to the said disasters and will be implemented and spearheaded by the Civil Protection Unit.
The programmes to be conducted include, education and awareness on hazards related to the rainy season, raising alarm, alert mechanisms using indigenous knowledge systems and local resources, assisting in rapid and comprehensive damage assessments and setting up of priorities, implementing response, recovery programmes and provide feedback as necessary among others.
The Minister informed that the Government has set aside adequate financial resources to cover the set programmes and stakeholders have been directed to commence drills in anticipation of any eventuality.
During the on-going United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow Scotland, President Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed that Zimbabwe was battling the effects of climate change which had resulted in severe droughts and cyclone-induced floods.
“It is most unfortunate that the impact of climate change is disproportionately borne by vulnerable communities that have contributed the least to the current stock of atmospheric carbon.
“Vulnerable countries must, therefore, be capacitated to mitigate, adapt and build resilience to climate change. The expectation is that the major emitters will scale up mitigation action and show greater interest in adaptation,” he said.
The President highlighted that Zimbabwe is implementing comprehensive strategies towards mainstreaming climate change adaptation and resilience across all sectors of our economy.