Red Cross strengthens disaster scheme for schools

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TAWANDA MARWIZI

The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) has intensified projects designed to enhance national disaster risk management capacities and community resilience through opening up spaces for social participation among community members.

Speaking at a risk management plan development meeting at Kahlu Primary School in Mangwe District on Friday ZRCS Matebeleland South manager Siphiwethina Tshuma said Red Cross has intensified its campaign to all schools.

“ZRCS is supporting 10 highly vulnerable schools in Mangwe district to develop enhanced disaster preparedness and reduce risks associated with recurrent hazards such as storms, floods and drought. This in turn will contribute to building the resilience of the student’s home communities,” she said.

Tshuma added that the integration of disaster risk management in the education sector and communities is crucial in order to increase awareness of the effects and causes of disasters.

Project coordinator Tapiwa Chadoka said the programme was more engaging and participatory on the part of the students.

“The school Risk Assessment will allow schools to later design well-informed school disaster risk reduction plans and contingency plans and the other components of the programme, Cash Preparedness, was meant to strengthen resources and capacity for programming by
mobilising resources and personal capacity,” said Chadoka.

So far the humanitarian organisation has identified 10 highly vulnerable schools in Mangwe District (Matebeleland South Province) to develop enhanced disaster preparedness capacities and reduce risks associated with frequent hazards such as storms, floods and drought.

Mangwe district is one such area in Matabeleland South that has been a victim to destructive natural and socio-natural hazards, especially hailstorms and strong winds.

Schools, churches, homes and other institutions have had their roofs blown away every rainy season, exposing these communities in the south-western part of the country.