Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe to enhance disaster management

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HARARE, Jul 27, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Department of Civil Protection of Zimbabwe will soon replace the 1989 Civil Protection Act with an Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management Act that will see the implementation of more elaborate mechanisms for disaster risk reduction, an official said on Wednesday.
The department director, Madzudzo Pawadyira, said at the ongoing National Conference on the Plan of Action to Strengthen Disaster Risk Management Capacity for Zimbabwe that the bill on the proposed legislation would be tabled before Parliament soon.

"Currently the bill is being scrutinized by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development to whom our department is answerable to," he said.

Pawadyira said contributions during the conference would be grafted into the bill which seeks to strengthen funding requirements, decentralize disaster management, integrate early warning systems for emergencies and disasters and facilitate a change of name for the Department to an Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management organization (EPDM).

The major functions of the EPDM include developing risk reduction strategies to minimize vulnerability to both natural and man-made technological hazards.

"A cabinet committee on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management will also be set up to formulate policies," he said.

The five-day conference was organized in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program.