CSOs castigate govt reaction to floods

via CSOs castigate govt reaction to floods 8 January 2015

Civil Society Organisations have slammed the government’s flat-footed approach to natural disasters as people lose their lives and livelihoods to countrywide flooding.

Over the years Zimbabwe has suffered several floods yet government has no measures in place to assist them – or even to ask donors to assist. Ten people have died in recent flooding while hundreds have been left homeless in various parts of the country.

The Director of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), , Macdonald Lewanika, blamed government for turning a blind eye to the need to cushion people against natural disasters such as floods.

“It is high time the government did something about securing lives and homes. Last year we had a similar situation in some parts of the country and this should have acted as trigger for preventive action in flood prone areas either through relocations, improving drainage and other counter measures – but this has not been done. Instead, we are being made to witness catastrophe and a blame game between local and central government when what is needed is concerted action to secure local and international help,” said Lewanika in an interview this week.

ZimRights Director, Okay Machisa, called on government to put mechanisms in place to cater for any disaster. “We are aware of efforts being done now but what we need are plans that are put before any disaster happens. Last year, we had the Tokwe-Mukosi disaster and that should have been a big lesson to both the government and humanitarian organisations,” he said.