Fast-track disaster policies, govt urged

Zimbabwe is among African countries bearing the brunt of climate change-induced natural disasters.

ACTIONAid Zimbabwe (AAZ) has called on authorities and stakeholders to fast-track disaster risk management policies as the country continues to face prospects of increased natural disasters.

In a report, the non-profit organisation with branches across Africa said the policies were necessary in responding to natural disasters.

“AAZ, therefore, urges the government of Zimbabwe, to expedite the finalisation of the Disaster Risk Management and Civil Protection Bill because a robust disaster risk reduction legislation is required to facilitate a paradigm shift from disaster response or relief to preparedness, prevention, mitigation, and resilience building,” the organisation said.

“The disaster risk management legislation should harmonise humanitarian actions across all levels by clearly stating the mandate of various humanitarian actors from the national to the local level, especially the women who are among the first responders to disasters at the local level.

“Set standards and provide a legal basis for reducing disaster risk and losses, enhancing accountability and co-ordination.”

The country is among African countries bearing the brunt of climate change-induced natural disasters.

In March 2019, the country's eastern part was devastated by tropical Cyclone Idai which left more than 270 000 people counting losses.

Disasters have wreaked havoc, causing loss of life, displacements, infrastructural damage and immense suffering to affected communities.

According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters 2022 report, 387 disasters were recorded worldwide in 2022 resulting in loss of 30 704 lives, affecting 185 million people and causing an economic loss of around US$223,8 billion.


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