The European Union (EU) has released €80 million for building disaster resilience to natural hazards, with the focus being floods and drought in some African countries. The beneficiary countries include Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Tanzania and Ghana among others.
This came to light when Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe and his Director for Disaster Risk Management Anderson Banda, paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s Ambassador to Italy, Dr. Katema.
The program is being implemented in Africa by four partners namely the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery and the Africa Development Banks Climate special fund.
Mr. Kabwe and his team are in Italy to understand the coping capacities and mechanisms to natural hazards such as floods and drought, which Italy has been experiencing almost every year and also to understand how the country manages sectors such as agriculture in the wake of the said hazards.
Dr. Katema disclosed that the Italian Civil Protection in the Office of the Prime Minister is willing to work with the DMMU in building capacity on how to manage hazards affecting the country. He added that Zambia can learn more in terms of agriculture, which should start at household level to contribute to the national food basket.
He added that his mission has engaged IFAD to give loans to small scale farmers to enhance household food security. Dr Katema further commended the Zambian government through the DMMU for the response to the areas affected by the drought.
And Mr.Kabwe disclosed that government is exploring modalities of engaging the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to begin production of maize and other crops specifically for food security.
He said once logistics have been concluded, ZNS will be equipped with the necessary agriculture equipment to ensure effective production of maize and consequently reduce the effects of the drought hazard on households.
Mr. Kabwe has further assured the public that government is doing everything possible to respond to the food insecurity being experienced in parts of the country and not to listen to people trying to politicise the situation.
He added that the 2019/2020 forecast has given hope and an opportunity for the country to recover from the shocks being experienced.
This is contained in a statement availed to the media by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) Communications officer Racheal Chama.