A humanitarian policy expert has called on the Government to repeal the Civil Protection Act (CPA) and urgently expedite the 2003 disaster management bill as a way of dealing with recurring natural disasters that have threatened and also hit the country in the last ten years.
In an interview with 263Chat, Isaac Mupande humanitarian policy and programs manager with social justice advocacy group ActionAid said the current legislation on disaster management is no longer relevant with current global trends.
“The current legislation framework concerning disaster management is guided by the Civil Protection Act which was enacted in 1989 which is a very long time and a lot of things have happened within the country and within the world in terms of the climatic changes looking also at the nature of incidences that are unfolding now,” Mupande said
He said the current CPA does not address issues to do with women and youths in terms of disaster management hence the need to replace it.
“We used to have cyclones maybe once in every ten years but if you were to ask the 2021/22 agriculture season there are eleven cyclones that have threatened Southern Africa. I am saying threatened because they did not fall on us they ended in the sea, thank God for that.
“There are some that made landfall on us but we are saying the CPA is no longer relevant in terms of its provisions to continue with the current disasters that we have for example it does not talk about resilience building and the involvement of women and youths in disaster management.
“Why can’t we finalise the disaster management Bill which was started in 2003 and again relooked in 2011. The question that people are failing to understand is why the Government taking long to finalise the Bill and yet we are faced with increasing hazards as a country due to climate change those are the questions we want to pose top the Government so that we expedite the finalisation of the disaster management bill into an Act. We think the Act can deal with contemporary challenges that the country is facing in terms of managing disasters and humanitarian actions etc.” he said
In March 2019 Cyclone Idai struck Zimbabwe leading to flooding and landslides affecting over 270 000 people with 340 people dead and many others missing. Chimanimani and Chipinge Districts were hardest hit. Infrastructure, schools and hospitals suffered heavy impact and many people lost their homes.
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