The Zambia Government has reaffirmed its commitment to the collective global resolve of ensuring access to early warning systems for every citizen on the planet in the next five years.
Speaking during the Southern Africa Ministerial Meeting on Integrated Early Warning and Early Action System Initiative in Maputo, Mozambique on Thursday, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Elijah Muchima said the Zambian government is putting in place measures to support the regions response to the United Nations’ call to ensure that every citizen on the planet has access to early warning systems in the next 5 years.
Mr. Muchima said Zambia is working with other countries in the region to support the development of Early warning systems in their respective nations.
The Minister of Lands regretted the inadequacy of early warning system in the country which he said leaves the country unprepared for disasters especially with the frequency and intensity of disasters necessitated by climate change.
He disclosed that Zambia like many other countries in the region is vulnerable to flooding and other effects of climate change. The Minister observed that the need to put in place early warning systems should be prioritised by all governments because the weather pattern is no longer predictable as it previously used to be.
Meanwhile, Minister of Water Development and Sanitation Mike Mposha said Zambia is investing more in strengthening transboundary cooperation and has to that effect signed a number of agreements around early warning systems with countries in which it shares its natural waters such as Mozambique.
Mr. Mposha said the Memorandum of Understandings are meant to give relief and warn affected stakeholders so they can prepare for floods and other hydro-meteorological calamities that may occur.
The Water Development Minister said government has ensured that climate change issues are mainstreamed in the national development plans, and that climate change issues have since been incorporated as main anchors of the 8th National Development plan recently launched by President Hakainde Hichilema.
And President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi says time to take action is now to save planet earth from the devastating effects of climate change.
Addressing the Southern Africa Ministerial Meeting on Integrated Early Warning and Early Action System Initiative in Maputo today, President Nyusi called on Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member countries and the continent at large to put efforts together when dealing with effects of climate change.
The head of state said Mozambique has already experienced the worst effects of climate change in the past years mostly in the 3 regions and is putting up measures to protect citizens from the effects of climate change.
President Nyusi who is currently the African Union Champion for Disaster Risk Management said he will continue to lead the region in the realization of the fast tracking of the implementation of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk reduction.
On the 23rd of March 2022, the Secretary General of the United Nations called on the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to lead a new initiative that will provide every citizen on the planet with Early Warning Systems in the next five years.
The Southern Africa Ministerial Meeting on Integrated Early Warning and Early Action System Initiative has been convened in response to the SG’s call, and to support development of the Early Warnings for All Initiative action plan for COP27.
And speaking when he presented the State of the Climate in Africa 2021 report, World Meteorological Organisation Assistant Secretary General Dr. Wenjian Zhang disclosed that in 2021, withering droughts and extensive floods, compounded by protracted conflicts, economic slowdowns and downturns, and the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, drove hunger and malnourishment across Africa.
Dr. Zhang told the conference that the findings of the report shows that droughts, floods and protracted conflicts were among the factors that jeopardized food security and impaired Africa’s progress towards meeting the commitment to reach zero hunger and end malnutrition in all its forms by 2030 as envisioned by Sustainable Development Goal number two.
He observed that much needs to be done to ensure that all citizens on the planet have access to early warning systems in the next 5 years as the percent of people who currently have access is too low especially for the African Continent.
Zambia is being represented at the regional meeting by two Ministers; the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Elijah Muchima and Minister of Water Development and Sanitation Mr. Mike Mposha who are leading a delegation comprising officials from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, Zambia Meteorological Department, Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation and the Department of Water Resource Management Agency.
According to DMMU Senior Communications Officer Mathews Musukwa, who is in Mozambique, meeting which opened on Monday, 5th September 2022 is expected to close on Friday, 9th September 2022 in Maputo.