CPU bemoans inadequate resources

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© THE Civil Protection Unit (CPU) director Nathan Nkomo yesterday said the department does not have adequate resources to cope with destructive floods which have been forecasted by the Meteorological Services Department (MSD).

Nkomo bemoaned his organisation’s financial limitations in the wake of floods that pummelled Nembudziya in Gokwe North District last Monday, leaving 30 families homeless. The affected families also lost their livestock as a result of the flash floods.

Also in the Midlands, schools in Kwekwe were hit by a hailstorm that swept through the district, leaving Samambwa Primary School in Zhombe totally destroyed. Speaking to the Daily News, Nkomo said as much as they were on high alert after the MSD forecast, they do not have enough resources to deal with the situation.

“We have the financial resources, but they are not enough to deal with the crisis at hand. The saddening part is that the flooding crisis comes at a time when we are still dealing with effects of the ongoing drought, and both need to be dealt with simultaneously,” Nkomo said.

The CPU director said they had been on high alert since the MSD recently forecasted violent and heavy rains in most parts of the country.

“Midlands is one of the affected areas already… we have since sent a consignment of blankets and tents to assist those who lost their homes,” Nkomo said.

In addition to flash floods and strong winds, Nkomo said both Gokwe North and South were also prone to lightning. “More than four people have already been killed by lightning in both areas.

“We are really trying to find sponsors to help our rural people with lightning conductors because that is the only way to curb fatalities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nkomo said the CPU had activated high-alert committees to monitor the situation.

“Provincial, district development coordinators will ensure all civil protection structures at sub-national levels, including schools, are aware of the flooding warnings.

“Then for urban areas, local authorities also need to brace for floods because a lot of flash floods are a result of poor drainage systems and failing to clean the drains,” Nkomo said.

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The flash floods and strong winds come three months after the government announced its intention to introduce a Disaster Risk Management Bill, to revamp the country’s disaster preparedness and response in line with contemporary emergencies, including climate change-induced disasters.

The Bill seeks to repeal the Civil Protection Act and includes contemporary issues such as radiation and earthquakes which are not covered in existing statutes.

Zimbabwe has increasingly experienced climate change-related disasters, including flooding and high temperatures, with the latest and most devastating being Cyclone Idai which swept away entire villages in Chimanimani last year.

 

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