The Sunday News
Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter
THE Government has approved a multi-hazard contingency plan after it noted that hazardous events have increasingly become more frequent, intense and complex to manage.
The contingency plan which is meant for the 2022-2023 rainfall season takes into consideration natural hazards that include tropical cyclones, droughts, floods, hailstorms, lightning, veld fires and strong winds, among others.
Acting Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Dr Jenfan Muswere said though natural hazards cannot be prevented from occurring, their effects could be mitigated through early warning systems and effective emergency preparedness, mitigation, disaster response and recovery systems.
“Preparing for disasters improves the well-being of citizens and enhances economic growth through protection and creation of livelihood assets, thereby reducing costs associated with response and recovery.
“Government has therefore prioritised the development of the Multi-Hazard Contingency Plan for the 2022-2023 Rainfall Season in order to ensure that the population is effectively prepared for disasters so as to reduce the loss of life and property,” said Dr Muswere
The contingency plan articulates the measures Government with the support of partners, will take to prevent or reduce any potential adverse impacts emanating from natural and man-made disasters.
“It seeks to promote a coordinated approach to preparedness and response before, during and after emergencies. The plan will strengthen national preparedness and response capacity for disaster risk management,” said Dr Muswere.
He said the plan was informed by a multi-sectoral and broad-based collaborative approach, which ensures the full participation and involvement of all stakeholders, especially the affected communities.
“Cabinet wishes to highlight that hazard models, which have become more accurate, show that urban and rural areas are equally affected by climatic hazards. For example, the heavy rains experienced in the 2020/2021 season left most roads impassable, resulting in the declaration of a State of Disaster on roads throughout the country in February, 2021.
“The resultant establishment of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme to provide the basis for mobilizing required resources has seen a marked reduction in the backlog of road rehabilitation,” said Dr Muswere.
Meanwhile, the Government has reiterated that through the National Development Strategy 1: 2021-2025, it remains committed to prioritizing increased investment in Disaster Risk Management Systems, including early warning systems and contingency planning.
The Government also revealed that the national and regional early warning systems are monitoring and advising all end users to be active and ensure readiness for all hazards associated with the rainy season which will positively impact expenditure management, reduce post-disaster trauma and result in early recovery and re-growth.