Takunda Maodza recently in KOPA, CHIMANIMANI
ZIMBABWE Defence Forces Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda last Friday officially welcomed the South African Nation Defence Forces (SANDF) contingent constructing two Bailey bridges at Kopa in Chimanimani and warned that climate change was real as evidenced by the disastrous effects of Cyclone Idai.
Gen Sibanda said there was, therefore, need for consolidated efforts in the Sadc region to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“I am here to officially welcome the South African National Defence Forces contingent to Zimbabwe. I know I sent the army commander sometime early August to welcome you, and I indicated then that I was coming in person to welcome you and to say a few words about your presence here,” said Gen Sibanda.
He thanked the SANDF and the South African government for the donation of the Bailey bridges.
“Allow me to officially welcome you to Zimbabwe and to Kopa, and also to thank you and through you the South African government and the SANDF for being real brothers. The action and your presence here indicate the good brotherly relations that exist between South Africa and Zimbabwe, and between the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the SANDF,” he said.
Gen Sibanda said Zimbabwe had never witnessed a disaster of the magnitude of Cyclone Idai.
“What we witnessed here is something that we had never witnessed in this country. We had dealt with disasters before, but they were never of this magnitude. So when Cyclone Idai struck, we struggled to get things sorted out, but there were certain things that we did not have and in that regard, the South African government donated the two Bailey bridges that you are working to put up. I want to thank you as a contingent and you as individuals for the good work that you are doing,” he said.
Gen Sibanda underscored the need to complete construction of the bridges before onset of rains. “I have been briefed that you are going to meet your target dates. This is very important because this area when it starts raining it can be very rainy and the roads become difficult where there are not tarred. It is important that this task is completed before the onset of heavy rains which is sometime in December and early January.”