CPU disaster campaign starts
THE Civil Protection Unit (CPU) has started campaigns to conscientise members of the public on dangers of floods and storms expected this rainy season.
Since the start of the rainy season in the country some lives and property have been lost.
Provincial administrators who lead the CPUs in their respective provinces told the Chronicle in separate interviews yesterday that disaster management teams have been activated to educate the public about the dangers of the changing weather patterns.
Bulawayo Provincial Administrator Ms Khonzani Ncube said teams were on the ground following advice from the Meteorological Services Department.
She said the country should expect inclement conditions.
“When we were told about the La Niña effect, the province activated the provincial CPU team. We’ve taken campaigns to educate the public about the effects. The La Niña weathers comprises rains characterised by strong winds so we’re urging the public to stay indoors and desist from standing near tall trees,” said Ms Ncube.
She implored the Bulawayo City Council to fix its clogged drainage system, which has previously caused flash floods in suburbs such as Nkulumane.
Matabeleland South Provincial Administrator Mrs Sithandiwe Ndumo-Ncube said the committees have been deployed at district level to lead the disaster preparedness and management effort.
She said the province has been educating communities about the dos and don’ts ahead during the rainy season which started recently.
“We’ve been teaching communities to educate their children not to cross flooded rivers as they risk being swept way. We’re also encouraging them to maintain their infrastructure because sometimes the communities don’t repair their homes, making them susceptible to being blown away by strong winds,” she said.
Mrs Ndumo-Ncube said similar campaigns have been taken to schools as some schools have falling classroom roofs.
In Matabeleland North, the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Cain Mathema said the province is ready for any eventualities.
He, however, said the CPU was underfunded and faced challenges in dealing with bigger disasters.
Cde Mathema urged the Government to increase funding for the CPU saying its communication system needs to be adequately funded.
“The CPU is always ready to deal with any situation not just heavy rains. We’re ready for the rains and we hope that they will not destroy properties. However, CPU needs to improve its funding on communication,” said Cde Mathema.
He said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should allocate a significant amount of money to the CPU in the national budget. — @nqotshili