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DISASTER Management and Mitigation Unit national co-coordinator Patrick Kangwa (right) speaks to Mpenzi Jere at Matero after-Care Centre during the commemoration of the International day for disaster risk reduction in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURE: ROYD SIBAJENE/ZANIS.

State to empower older people

Government recognises the importance of empowering older people for a safer tomorrow.
Deputy minister in the office of the vice president Davies Mwango says there is need to change the perception about older people and the roles they play in society.
Mr Mwango said there is need to shed light on the obstacles that affect the older people and protect them from injustices.
Mr Mwango said this during the commemoration of this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction at Matero After Care Centre in Lusaka yesterday, which was being celebrated under the theme, ‘Resilience for life-focusing older people and disaster.’
“There is need for a more inclusive approach for older people in disaster risk reduction and recognise the role they play in resilience building through their experience and knowledge,” Mr Mwango said.
He said the older generation should be empowered to fully contribute to sustainable development through disaster risk reduction.
Mr Mwango said older people should be encouraged to participate in poverty reduction, climate change adaption and disaster risk reduction activities.
“It is for this reason that I urge each and every one of us to support Government in making the aged a visible force of resilience,” he said
And Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit national coordinator Patrick Kangwa said the country has not done enough for the aged and the vulnerable in society.
Mr Kangwa said things are changing as Government is doing everything possible to include them in developmental plans.
“The vulnerable and the aged should also partner with Government so that they are included in developmental plans,” Mr Kangwa said.
Speaking at the same function, World Food Programme (WFP) country coordinator Simon Cemmelbeeck reaffirmed the organisations’s commitment to bringing knowledge from other countries and expertise of its agencies to support the country to better coordinate disaster risk reduction activities and identify gaps.
Assorted items were also donated to the aged at the centre.