Activista Zimbabwe has summoned the Attorney General’s Office to appear before Parliament to share a report on progress made with drafting the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Bill, given that the principles were approved in June 2022, and they are sitting within their office.
The DRM bill aims to replace the now-irrelevant Civil Protection Act of 1989 and move towards a new bill that promotes decentralization, incorporates the principles and priorities of the Sendai Framework (2015 to 2030), and provides for the full participation of marginalized groups.
The Minister of Local Government has been summoned to appear before parliament to share a detailed roadmap towards the finalization of the DRM bill that will replace the CPA of 1989 by June 30th, 2023.
The new DRM bill will provide for the full participation of marginalized groups such as women, youth, and people with disabilities who were previously excluded from disaster risk management activities.
The current section 44 of the Civil Protection Act is silent on their participation. Additionally, section 4(2) on the composition of the National Civil Protection Committee (NCPC) does not have a deliberate provision to involve these groups in disaster risk management activities yet the NCPC is strategic in the management of disasters.
The government has been implored to consider a decentralized disaster risk management fund.
Despite section 20 of the Civil Protection Act of 1989 establishing a National Civil Protection Fund that shall be administered by the responsible minister, this raises issues of centralization and bureaucracy.
The act is also silent on what percentage of the total national and local government budgets should be set aside for disaster management.
Previous disasters showed that the absence of reserved funds at the provincial and district level was a huge setback to all efforts aimed at mitigating the impacts of and responding to disasters.