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State prepares rainy season disaster strategic plan

GOVERNMENT has introduced a strategic plan for vulnerability and risk assessment committee in readiness for the coming rainy season.
Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) national co-ordinator Patrick Kangwa said in an interview that strategic plan which was introduced two months ago is aimed at identifying and putting in place appropriate measures to reduce the impact of the rainy season.
Mr Kangwa said this year; the Zambia Vulnerability Assessment Committee undertook the in-depth vulnerability and needs assessment in 33 districts following reports of flooding and dry spells.
“We are better equipped now than we have been in the past in terms of knowing the vulnerable areas and the anticipated risks of rains which may lead to floods. The assessment report has proposed recommendations necessary to mitigate the effects of floods and disasters in affected districts,” Mr Kangwa said.
He said DMMU is ready to be mainstreamed in other ministries such as the ministries of Education, Local Government and Housing; Community Development Mother and Child Health in implementing strategies that will help reduce the impact of the rainy season in communities.
“Before the rainy season we have an estimated quantity of rains coming, this year it will be different because we will be following a laid down procedure of the strategic plan. People should know that we do not wait for disaster to strike but we prepare adequately at any given time,” he said.
Mr Kangwa said before the rainy season, DMMU engages district commissioners who are chairpersons of the district disaster management committees to give appropriate warning in their communities.
“Sometimes you may find that the disaster may not be as a result of heavy rains, it could be poor structures built in wrong areas, bridges may collapse due to shoddy works and sometimes it could be broken dams,” he said.
He urged the media not to only report about  disaster but to also look at the strides DMMU in making in avoiding disasters.

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