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Gov says no to parallel disaster management structures

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Gov says no to parallel disaster management structures


Brilliant Mukaro


MASVINGO – Civil Protection Unit (CPU) acting director, Nathan Nkomo has told United Nations arms, NGOs and volunteers attending a two-day workshop at Chevron Hotel in Masvingo this week to desist from forming parallel structures to deal with disasters in the country.

Addressing the Community of Practice for Anticipatory Action during the workshop on Wednesday, Nkomo said the role of Non Governmental Organisations (NGO)s is to complement Government disaster risk management work and not to compete or work outside it.

The Community of Practice for Anticipatory Action is a loose group of organisations involved in disaster work.

The workshop sought to turn the Community of Practice for Anticipatory Action into a formal organisation with protocols so that it can easily work with Government. Benjamin Kwenda of the Metereological Services Department said the Community of Practice for Anticipatory Work is being established within Government structures hence the workshop.

The workshop also sought to find ways of getting Zimbabwe into anticipatory action through forecasting disasters and therefore limit damage instead of the current approach of responding to disasters.

Speaking on the sidelines of the workshop in an interview with The Mirror, Nkomo said parallel structures bring about confusion to disaster management adding that there are laws that give guidelines on disaster management including a formal disaster management structure called disaster risk management architecture.

The formal disaster management structures starts from Cabinet followed by Cabinet Committee On Disaster to National Civil Protection Unit, the Provincial Civil Protection and at the bottom is the District Civil Protection Unit.

Experts at the workshop used the sessions to advice the Community of Practice for Anticipatory Action on how to formalise their group and fit into formal disaster management structures.

As a formal group the workshop would come up with terms of reference for the technical setup and craft a constitution that is in line with Section 12 and Section 20 of the CPU Act which allows individuals and volunteers to partake in civil protection in a formal and Government approved manner.

The organisations which attended the workshop included World Vision, Red Cross Society, Nutrition Zimbabwe, World Food Programme (WFP), and World Health Organisation (WHO).

“We want to craft a system that allows organisations and individuals to participate in civil protection in a formalised manner. We want to ensure early action and preparedness in risk management,” said Nkomo.

Kwenda said the workshop will come up with a holistic approach that puts Government departments and NGOs under one roof so as to be able to respond to hazards that endanger lives and stalls production.

He said that workshop will come up with focus based financing so that forecasting and preparedness will become feasible.

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