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Zim ill-equipped to avert natural disasters

Local News

THE Civil Protection Department (CPD) is ill-equipped to deal with natural disasters and has to rely on other State agencies for resources.

This comes at a time when Zimbabwe's Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has issued flood warnings in low-lying northern parts of the country.

MSD's head of forecasting, James Ngoma said there was an increased risk of floods in river basins, wetlands and low-lying areas such as Muzarabani and Mbire in Mashonaland Central province in northern Zimbabwe.

Speaking to a local radio station last Friday, CPD director Nathan Moyo, however, revealed that they have to rely on other State agencies such as the police, the military, health ministry and local authorities to respond to disasters.

“We have been using the military helicopters but they are made for warfare and not rescuing. It will be good if we can get our custom-made rescue helicopters,” Moyo said.

He said mobilising resources and equipment from other agencies was cumbersome in times of disaster.

“We have been to Russia and Belarus where their disaster management agencies have equipment. It is easy to respond to disasters promptly and save lives than waiting to mobilise resources from other agencies.

“It is high time the government invested in the tools of the trade for the department,” he said.

Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) said the government should invest in equipment for the Department of Civil Protection (DCP).

“The US$7,3 million allocated to DCP for disaster risk management is not sufficient to build national disaster management resilience,” Zimcodd said.

In recent decades, Zimbabwe has witnessed a surge in natural disasters because of climate change.

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