We're ready for disasters: CPU

HARARE - The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) is prepared to provide assistance to the general population in the event of impending heavy rains as forecast by the Meteorological Services Department.

In an interview the CPU director, Nathan Nkomo, yesterday said the department — which is housed under the Local Government ministry — had ready food and some non-food items to ease the suffering of those who may be affected by the forces of nature.

Nkomo’s remarks come as the MSD warned of possible flash-flooding and torrential rains in low-lying areas and in the main watershed.

“We have a programme that we came up with in our district preparedness plans. We have 73 districts in the country, 13 in urban areas and 60 in the rural areas. 

“What we have done is conscientise the people on what to do in the event of flash floods. 

“However, it is very difficult to remove people from areas such as wetlands which may be severely affected by the flooding.”

“Most of the people who have settled there will only be removed by way of demolitions but we are telling them to avoid invading the protected areas altogether.

“Regularisation on wetlands as you know has already been ruled out, so the only way is for those people to move from the areas and find alternative shelter before the heavy rains come,” Nkomo said.

He highlighted that civil protection committees have also been activated in the country’s districts in the event of the unfortunate.

“So far, one of our committees has gone to Chivhu where nine houses had their roofs blown off and the committee is now conducting random assessments in the area.

“A truckload of canned foods and other non-consumables has also been taken there for the affected households,” Nkomo said.

According to an advisory by the MSD, violent storms, coupled with lightning, hail and damaging winds were expected in the country in the last two days.

“Moisture is entering the country from both Botswana and South Africa and should result in widespread thunderstorms. Localised heavier rains in excess of 50mm in 24 hours cannot be ruled out, especially over Masvingo, Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces. 

“However, it should begin to dry out from the south-western parts of the country from Friday into the weekend,” the weather department said.

Comments (1)

Why using a picture of a disaster in the UK?? Gutter journalism.

Chikowore - 4 January 2019

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