Wednesday, 31 July 2019

ED TO DECLARE DROUGHT A NATIONAL DISASTER


President Mnangagwa is this week expected to declare the drought experienced in the 2018-2019 summer cropping season a national disaster as part of efforts to assist communities in need of food aid.

This was said by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo while receiving an assortment of goods and food aid mobilised by Parliamentarians and Parliamentary staff yesterday.

Zimbabwe and other Sadc countries like Namibia and Botswana experienced poor rains during the past season and an estimated five million people in the country require food aid according to the 2019 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee report. 

“This week the President is going to declare a national disaster on drought. Botswana and Namibia have already declared.

“We need to mobilise as Zimbabweans and would want to urge Parliament to be at the forefront of domestic mobilisation and it’s the messages that come out of Parliament which can help us mobilise regional and international assistance,” Minister Moyo said.

He said that a second humanitarian appeal is going to be launched next week during the visit of Mr David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Programme.

“This coming week is going to be an important week for us because the executive director of the World Food Programme is visiting us and we are launching the second appeal which will be an appeal that will last until April next year. 

“Zimbabwe has both drought and effects of Cyclone Idai, so we will be launching next week an appeal to continue with activities linked to Cyclone Idai as well as the drought,” he said.

Minister Moyo said the Disaster Risk Management Bill had been finalised and was now awaiting approval by Cabinet before presentation to Parliament.

Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda said as legislators, they had the responsibility of representing people’s aspirations.

“As legislators who are elected representatives entrusted with the sacred responsibility of representing the hopes and aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe, the memory of the estimated 270 000 people that were affected by Cyclone Idai, some of whom still remain in need of critical lifesaving humanitarian support, remains indelibly etched on our minds,” he said.

“We owe our elevated positions to the people of Zimbabwe who elected us into office on the principle of trustship, including those affected by Cyclone Idai. To that end, we cannot remain silent and inactive while our people suffer. We cannot stand aside and watch while our citizenry bear the brunt of this natural disaster, neither can we afford to be unmoved by-standers while the Executive, civil society and ordinary citizens make valiant efforts to bring relief to the victims of Cyclone Idai.” Herald

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