Saturday, June 15, 2024

Zambia Government Responds to Flood Crisis with Relief Efforts Across the Country

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mrs. W.K. Mutale Nalumango, MP, has made a ministerial statement in Parliament about the flood situation in the country. According to the Vice President, the government is taking exceptional measures to address the challenges associated with the flooding, which requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including citizens, local authorities, and government wings. The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), in collaboration with other stakeholders, is providing relief and recovery efforts, such as emergency shelter, food, non-food items, rehabilitation, repair and construction of bridges, and clearing and creating canals and drainages to de-flood certain areas. The government is also providing liquid and granular chlorine to make drinking and household water safe to prevent the outbreak of diarrheal and other waterborne diseases.

The Vice President shared sectoral cluster disaggregation data, revealing that 203,914 people need immediate food relief, 160,070 people require immediate support in Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), 7,458 people have been accommodated in temporal camps around the country for shelter, and 3,444 people are unable to access school in some flooded areas across the country. Mrs. Nalumango further stated that urban flooding is structural in nature and requires proactive measures to ensure that functional outflow storm drainages are in place, reinforce development control, especially in urban areas, and curb the indiscriminate disposal of garbage.

Furthermore, the Vice President informed members of the House and the general public about Tropical Cyclone Freddy, which was reported to likely induce heavy to extreme rainfall resulting in floods in most SADC countries, including Zambia. The impact of Tropical Cyclone Freddy in Zambia has been minimal, but it indirectly induced moist and unstable airflow, resulting in episodes of moderate rainfall activities. The hydrological and meteorological agencies in Zambia, in collaboration with the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit, will continue to monitor the situation and issue timely early warning information for early action through public and private media, community radios, and official social media. Finally, the Vice President reminded the House that Local Authorities should make use of the 5% disaster component allocated under Constituency Development Fund to respond effectively to disasters at the local level.

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