BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
HUMANITARIAN agency, World Vison, yesterday launched a US$3,2 million disaster preparedness project to enhance early response and sustainability of livelihoods in areas hit by natural disasters.
The project, dubbed Strengthening Community-Led Actions on Education and Disaster Preparedness (SCALE-DP), is being carried out by World Vision in partnership with Welthungerhilfe and Christian Blind Mission and various government departments.
The project was funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and is aimed at improving disaster preparedness, early response and access to inclusive education in protective environments for 135 555 children, 40 025 women and 36 946 men.
The two-year project, which began its operations in June this year is being implemented in Chipinge, Chimanimani, Buhera, Tsholotsho and Nkayi districts which were disproportionately affected by natural disasters, which include droughts, floods, cyclones, and hailstorms.
SCALE-DP programme manager Tapiwa Muzerengi said the interventions will use existing community structures to ensure the sustainability and participation of vulnerable groups.
He also said the programme will enable the stocking up of non-food items, revitalising community disaster preparedness committees as well as enhancing functional early warning systems so that communities can adequately respond in case of an emergency.
“Among others, the programme will enhance disaster preparedness of 250 schools in five districts of operations,” Muzerengi said.
“This programme is unique because it is inclusive, for example it will incorporate disaster preparedness and response for people with disabilities. This will include the procurement of assistive devices for children with varying disabilities. For example, braille material for the visually impaired, retro-fitting such as building ramps to ensure that those with physical impairments can access classrooms for learning. Disaster proofing for schools will also be part of the activities under the programme where we intend to facilitate the refurbishment of schools infrastructure to withstand harsh weather conditions.”
Zimbabwe has been experiencing a series of climate-induced tropical storms such as Cyclone Idai of 2019, and recurring droughts which have affected several communities across the country.