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Zimbabwe Makes Strides In Reducing Disaster Mortalities: Minister


BY JAMES MUONWA

LOCAL Government minister, July Moyo says the country has witnessed a significant cut in the number of deaths attributed to various disasters, including weather-induced calamities.
He said tremendous achievements have been made towards reducing disaster mortalities in Zimbabwe following advancements in the national Early Warning Systems (EWS).
In a speech to mark International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) held in Chinhoyi recently, Moyo said government was working to further curb fatalities due to natural and man-made disasters.
Moyo said, "Tremendous achievements have been made towards reducing disaster mortality in Zimbabwe. 
"There has been significant improvement in the national early warning systems for both natural and human-induced hazards such as those induced by severe weather conditions namely droughts, floods, storms, veld fires and infectious diseases."
Moyo singled out livestock diseases such as Theileriosis, commonly known as January Disease which has lately caused cattle deaths in Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland East.
Added Moyo, "We have embraced modern technologies in monitoring elements of weather and more observation stations are being established countrywide to provide credible and near real-time data.
"The same applies for biological hazards in which the disease surveillance system of the country has significantly improved following the infamous Covid-19 pandemic."
The minister reiterated the need to heighten education campaigns to curtail road traffic accidents, which he said were mainly caused by human error.
Moyo revealed government was seized with creating an enabling environment for disaster risk reduction, empowering farmers and workers to better understand how disasters could impact them.
"There is need to ensure that people have access to accurate and timely information, and promoting effective risk management approaches that influence public investment and insurance.
"Zimbabwe is vulnerable to multiple calamities which have become very complex and require robust measures to mitigate them. This impact has resulted in the loss of life ranging from incidents in the home such as burns, mine accidents and Covid-19, impacts of tropical depression such as Cyclone Idai," said the Local Government minister.
A multi-sectoral approach involving traditional leaders such as chiefs, headmen and village heads was needed to empower communities deal with eventualities, he said.
"This is anchored on, but not limited to, spatial planning regime, 'Build Right First', Building Back Better' and proper environmental management. It is at the local level that concerted efforts are needed to empower communities, including targeting vulnerable groups like persons living with disabilities, older persons and children."
Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 that seeks promotion of a culture of disaster preparedness.
The IDDR commemorations started in 1989 following a call by the United Nations General Assembly to set aside a day to promote a culture of risk awareness and reduction of disaster risks.
This year's commemorations were held under the theme; 'Multiple Hazards Are Best Managed In A Devolved Environment.'

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