KARIBA - Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS), in partnership with the Danish Red Cross, is implementing a disaster risk reduction project targeting 2 347 households in rural Kariba.
The two institutions received funding from the World Bank global facility for disaster risk reduction.
It will benefit rural communities of Mola, Negande and Nebiri which have an estimated population of 10 444.
The project, which is anchored on the need to empower communities and increase their capacity to prevent, predict, reduce the risk of, and respond to recurrent disasters, commenced in January this year and will run until June 30, 2018.
ZRCS secretary-general Maxwell Phiri said at the official launch on Wednesday his organisation will train Red Cross volunteers and representatives of both the village and ward committees who comprise traditional leaders.
“Teachers, village health workers, religious leaders alongside government technical departments and civil society organisations will participate.”
Phiri said his organisation is an auxiliary to government humanitarian efforts whose brief is to alleviate human suffering wherever it is found, hence continue to reinvent themselves in tune with obtaining humanitarian challenges.
“The launch of this two-and-a-half-year disaster risk reduction project in Kariba aimed at supporting the integration of disaster risk reduction and climate change within the local government development planning process at village, ward and district levels is thus a move in the right direction for us,” Phiri said.
The ZRCS secretary general said he hoped the project would help capacitate the local communities to develop coping mechanisms that can help deal with emergencies and disasters as they arise.
“The Red Cross is indeed a conduit for help and we will always strive to work with beneficiary communities as partners for development in our humanitarian endeavours.
“Through such smart and people-centred programming, we will certainly champion community-owned programmes that are not only emergency but developmental in their thrust so that we foster sustainability.”
He added that his organisation is about “service” and “anyone, anywhere can be a volunteer and member of this organisation.”
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Mashonaland West Faber Chidarikire, who was guest at the official launch, said “the project is significant in that the proposed activity contributes to World Bank global facility disaster risk reduction overarching objective of reducing vulnerabilities to hazard and help eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable development, and is fully consistent with all regional priorities for Africa.”
The involvement of government departments, he said, will go a long way in ensuring the proper coordination of the project and through stakeholders; ZRCS will learn what works well and what can be improved.
“Consequently, this should result in improved accountability and strengthened ownership, sustainability via smooth handover to communities,” Chidarikire said.