Department ready for flooding, natural disasters

Source: Department ready for flooding, natural disasters | The Herald

Department ready for flooding, natural disasters
Department of Civil Protection director, Mr Nathan Nkomo

Herald Correspondent

The Department of Civil Protection (DCP) has developed a National Contingency Plan (NCP) to enable it to efficiently help communities prone to flooding and natural disasters.

The plan, which has since been approved by Cabinet, is the blueprint the Government and partners are using to respond to both hydrometeorological, natural and human-induced disasters.

DCP director, Mr Nathan Nkomo said the plan was developed following the regional weather forecast which predicted normal to above normal rainfall.

“The month of October 2021 saw the onset of the rainfall season which has been characterised by heavy rains and flash floods in various parts of the country.

“Urban areas have not been spared given the damages witnessed in all major cities. Social amenities infrastructure damaged as a result of the heavy rains includes schools and clinics have also been destroyed by the rains.

“Civil Protection Committees have been ceased with the task of conducting damage assessments in order to ascertain immediate needs of affected households as well as costing of damages to social infrastructure to facilitate mobilisation of resources to undertake repairs.”

Mr Nkomo said submissions from provinces where damages have been reported will be received as rapid damage assessments were being conducted.

He said reports submitted to date indicated that most houses damaged by adverse weather conditions were built using poor building materials of pole and dagga while poor workmanship on some houses built with brick and mortar resulted in increased vulnerability to harsh weather conditions.

It is also noted that houses built on wetlands are highly susceptible to the vagaries of weather and this has been the case in many urban areas where flash floods have been experienced,” Mr Nkomo said.

“Development control must ensure adherence to building standards should be done by local authorities on construction of houses and social amenities such as schools and clinics. As per the 2021/2022 National Contingency Plan, there is need for timeous release of funds by the Treasury to ensure a well-coordinated, efficient, effective response to emergencies.”

On road traffic accidents, Mr Nkomo said a trend was emerging where many bus operators were operating without passenger insurance.

“Of note is the recent Beta bus accident along Harare-Mutare road which claimed 6 lives on 24 December 2021. It has also been observed that ZUPCO is among some of the bus operators that have been found wanting in the area of passenger insurance.

“This is an area where law enforcement needs to be strengthened in order to reduce road carnage and improve the safety of travellers.”