An advocacy group is calling for the government to better capacitate the Civil Protection Department as part of measures to protect vulnerable communities rights in times of climate change and economic hardships.
Advocates4Earth reveals the call after flash floods left 21 families stranded in Binga.
The group’s Director Lenin Chisaira said, “We have been calling for adequate disaster management in Zimbabwe especially after the Battlefields and Cyclone Idai flood disasters in early 2019. A natural hazard shouldn’t automatically lead to the differing of communities.”
“Every person has the right to an environment that is not harmful to health, as well as the right to health itself. These rights are provided in the Constitution and in international treaties. Binga is a special case for us because in the past and with various organisations, I worked on the amendments of the Binga Rural District Council Environmental By-Laws”
The advocacy group also said failure to deal with floods and other natural hazards is a human rights and environmental justice issue.
“Some of the challenges being faced in Binga include poor roads, limited telecommunications coverage and even medical and power facilities,” the organisation says in a press release.
“These issues occur in a district which is practically on the banks of the water system that provide the most hydroelectric power for Zimbabwe and neighbouring States.”
Sources closer to developments in Binga say the flooded area has limited to no modern network communications and survivors had to travel for 7 kilometres to reach the nearest area to call for help
“There are, however, a number of ways to deal with these disasters, which we call upon the government to genuinely embrace and fully implement. These range from capacitating the civil protection departments, quicker responses, having viable early warning systems, allowing better access to environmental and weather information for communities, civil society, mainstream and alternative media among other measures,” the organisation says.