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Zambia readies for climate change

VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina says Government is working on a national contingency plan to mitigate effects of any occurrence that may characterise the 2015/2016 rainy season.
Mrs Wina said the impact of dry spells experienced during the 2014/2015 rainy season has strongly reminded Government that more needs to be done to ensure people’s safety.
The Vice-President was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when she launched the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction under the theme ‘Knowledge for life’, focusing on the use of traditional, indigenous and local knowledge in disaster risk management.
“There is need to build more capacity in coping with unforeseen calamities in light of the changing weather patterns due to climate change. The commemoration highlights the use of traditional, indigenous and local knowledge which complement modern science and adds to individual and science resilience,” Mrs Wina said.
She said the International Day for Risk Reduction aims to raise general awareness of the case for disaster risk reduction.
Mrs Wina said this year’s celebration will aim at raising awareness on traditional, indigenous and local knowledge and practices.
She said acknowledgement of the indigenous knowledge and its ability to issue timely warning in respective communities would reduce vulnerability and exposure to disasters from their own perspectives.
The Vice-President said the emphasis is on the fact that indigenous people epitomise the importance of local knowledge and community involvement in disaster risk management, which in turn yields community resilience.
“Government through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit is implementing community-based risk reduction that appeared around Christmas,” she said.
Mrs Wina said although the El Nino phenomenon was originally discovered by indigenous fishing communities, scientists have complemented the effort of fishermen and are able to provide early warning forecasts. n
Mrs Wina said this is to ensure that the likely effect of El Nino is managed.

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