More weather-related disasters like Cyclone Idai are expected – Army Commander
Columbus Mabika Herald Reporter
The Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) will continue to train their human resources in disaster response to meet the needs dictated by geography and climate change in various parts of the country.
In addition, the need to create a robust disaster management and response system comprising different expertise for both proactive and reactive measures to deal with potential threats from natural disasters becomes critical.
With the advent of climate change, tropical cyclones and other related disasters are set to become more frequent, accompanied by an increase in intensity.
During a presentation titled “Mobilization and Use of ZDF in National Security Crisis Management” National Defense Course at the University of National Defense, ZDF Commander Gen. Philip Valerio Sibanda said that by pulling the Lessons from Cyclone Idai, it was important to find ways to limit the negative impacts. natural disasters.
“There is an urgent need to ensure that military training for disaster response is structured to meet geographically dictated needs in various parts of the country. From the statistics provided, you will agree with me that the destruction caused by Cyclone Idai was beyond the wildest imagination of any Zimbabwean. Based on the intensity of these experiences recently, we should expect more weather-related disasters like Cyclone Idai and maybe even worse, ”he said.
“Although the nature of calamities will never be the same as before them, we must nonetheless learn from past natural calamities so that we can improve our preparedness to face similar disasters in the future in our response. after effects. “
“This means that in the future we need to have a robust Civil Protection Unit response system that has the right mix of different expertise so that holistic disaster preparedness for proactive and reactive measures is activated. in a timely manner to deal with the potential threats of a specific disaster. “
General Sibanda said Cyclone Idai taught the nation to develop positional capabilities that can facilitate a rapid response for impact assessment so that national leaders are provided with accurate information on the situation in affected areas. in order to develop and deploy practical mitigation efforts.
He said communication was the cornerstone of a good disaster relief management effort to connect those affected and those planning relief efforts to enable adjustment of disaster plans.
To facilitate disaster coordination, Gen. Sibanda said the ZDF recommended that the government adopt structures configured according to the nature and scale of a disaster to enable a rapid response.
General Sibanda said communities need continuous training and education to become creative and innovative in times of disaster.
“Disaster response training and education must focus on educating individuals and communities to face the unknown and be creative in the midst of confusion. Training people by practicing live action exercises and applying the lessons of the experiences of the next round of preparations is essential for developing adaptability and resilience in the face of cyclones and other natural disasters, ”he said.
ZDF was the only organization in the initial stages of Cyclone Idai to deploy to affected areas to map the extent of loss of life, damage to infrastructure and disruption to livelihoods.