AU, SADC teams in Zim to assess drought situation

21 Jun, 2024 - 17:06 0 Views
AU, SADC teams in Zim to assess drought situation Chief director of the Civil Protection Department, Nathan Nkomo,

A joint mission of the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) is in Zimbabwe to assess the way communities in the country are coping during the ongoing drought situation.

On Friday, the team met first with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and later those from the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.

Speaking to journalists after meeting with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works senior officials, AU Commission senior policy officer for disaster risk reduction, Aboubakar Diane commended the Zimbabwe government for taking the lead to appeal for assistance to mitigate the effects of the drought.

“After this El Nino, the country is facing an ongoing drought which has an impact on communities. The good news is that the government of Zimbabwe has taken leadership by doing a flash appeal to partners,” he said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently declared a national disaster to deal with the prolonged drought, which wiped away half the maize crop leaving the government requiring US$2 billion to tackle hunger.

Diane said his team would use the Zimbabwe visit to assess the country’s disaster early warning systems.

“We are here for an assessment of the situation to see if the early warning system in the country works well. We will see how to refine our African Unit which has been established with the main objective of communicating with regional as well as national units so that we can prevent the impact of disasters in Africa,” he said.

Chief director of the Civil Protection Department, Nathan Nkomo, said as part of the assessment, the visiting UN, AU and SADC teams will get anopportunity to see drought resilience projects in Masvingo province.

“This is an assessment team from those three organisations coming to assess the effect of the El Nino induced drought in Zimbabwe. The assessment will not be enough unless we take them to various projects in Masvingo where we can see resilience being showcased. The emphasis is on how best we can come out of this drought,” he said.

Over 61 million people throughout the SADC region are affected by the El Niño-induced drought.

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