SADC Urged to Act on Climate Change

MUTARE- A coalition of non-governmental organisations operating in the SADC region have urged governments to coordinate diverse stakeholders to fight against rising climate change disasters in the region.

Speaking at the end of a three-day indaba in Mutare yesterday, the organizations namely Southern Africa Trust, Centre of African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI), Amnesty International, National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (NANGO), Action Aid, Southern Africa Youth Forum (SAYOF), and SADC Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (SADC-CNGO) said regional governments can guard against duplication of roles, confusion, contradictory responses and wasteful expenditures by establishing emergency protocol frameworks.

Masego Madzwamuse chief executive officer of Southern Africa Trust told reporters in a post conference address that civic players have observed weak early warning systems across the region as well as policy gaps.

“We confirmed that there is a weak early warning system across the region although there are a few examples on how Malawi managed to respond and other countries drawing insights from lessons.

“The states, regional and global development partners and communities need to invest in actionable climate risk information in generating climate risk information and this is informing disaster risk management development plans.

“The state must adopt risks reduction development plans and frameworks and here it’s really a question of translating the SADC disaster risk management framework to a national level and operationalizing this.

“States and development partners need to put in place early warning systems with contextualized and effective dissemination and communication mechanisms, to think through how the information is being communicated to those affected,” said Madzwamuse.

Misheck Gondo regional coordinator Southern Africa Youth Forum, said focus should also be placed on leveraging the youth demographic dividend through practical empowerment programs that improve community resilience to climate change.

“Involvement of youths in disaster preparedness, response and mitigation is very important and this has to start from them gaining knowledge on practical steps on how to respond to climate disaster like first aid skills.

“Youths should also be involved not only in the times of disaster, they need to be involved even without a disaster so that they are part of policies also that are being made by different governments and when they become part of it they can participate meaningfully,” said Gondo.

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