SPEAKER of the National Assemby Jacob Mudenda has urged parliaments in southern Africa to consider adopting indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) in disaster risk reduction.
Addressing the Sadc Parliamentary Forum Assembly in Mauritius on the role of parliaments in promoting co-ordination for enhanced disaster risk reduction and recovery planning, Mudenda highlighted the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters citing recent events in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi and the DRC.
He said Zimbabwe has developed a legal framework for disaster risk management governed mainly by the Civil Protection Act, Chapter 10:06 and section 56 of the Zimbabwe Constitution which provides for equal protection and benefit of the law.
“It is common cause that the Sadc region has not escaped the vagaries of natural disasters as experienced recently in Zimbabwe,South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, therefore, a regional approach to managing such epic disasters is an imperative.
“It is undeniable that IKS play a pivotal role in disaster risk reduction. In that regard, parliamentarians, as advocates for disaster management efforts, can raise public awareness and institutionalise IKS as a critical component in national disaster management,” Mudenda said.
“To achieve this, parliamentarians are urged to engage relevant government ministries, departments and agencies as well as civil society organisations that are keen to manage national disasters local traditional leaders are a vital stakeholder in this regard.”
Mudenda said every country must come up with sound national determined contributions for the world to reduce greenhouse emissions so that temperatures do not rise above the Paris Climate Change Agreement barometer of 1,5 degrees celsius.
Zimbabwe drafted the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management Bill which is now before Parliament.