Questions over CPU's disaster preparedness

HARARE - While we cannot begin to express how vital the rain is for our drought-stricken country, we also note that each rainy season brings with it serious consequences for individuals and the government.

And the common problem has traditionally been flooding in the low lying areas such as Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central.

Given the predictability of the rain-induced consequences, we should expect the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) and other complementary arms of government to be equally prepared for disaster management.

No one can speak with conviction that both the CPU and government have learnt from the past and have unquestionable state of disaster preparedness.

This is so because the CPU has reacted more to disasters than mitigating them.

The Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam wall overflow, which left many families marooned, is a classic example.

Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam is a huge project whose capacity upon completion would be 1, 8 billion cubic litres of water.

Why would government allow human settlement within the proximity of this gigantic dam?

Many families are domiciled in the reservoir’s flood basin and the horrific scenes which swept through the villages last week when the dam wall over flowed, expose CPU shortcomings disaster management.

Loss of property and homes could have been easily avoided had those villagers been relocated the moment construction of the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam commenced.

Instead of hailing the reaction to the flooding and evacuation by both the military and CPU teams, we must question the state of preparedness to natural disasters.

There is need for the CPU to reassess the potentially disaster areas and pool resources to arm its teams with skills that are crucial both in preventing those disasters and managing them.

Treasury must adequately fund the CPU which needs to do more to instil confidence.

People need to know how the CPU is funded and what skills it has in its “armoury” of disaster management.

At the moment the CPU is more visible in reacting to those disasters without demonstrating it has the guile and competency to protected people from the possibility of such disasters.

There could be many disasters waiting to happen.

How many times does the CPU need to be caught napping for government and other stakeholders to change the way things are done?

It is time to get rid of the current bug of lackadaisical attitude permeating government structures to the detriment of the populace.

Amongst a myriad of problems, we expect the government to put the lives of its people on top of its priority list not treat them as “other business”.

Comments (1)

post more information on what the CPUs did in disaster management in tokwe mukosi and muzarabani

patience mnyamana - 27 May 2016

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