The government has been challenged to allocate funds towards the management of disasters in the country to ensure speedy response to emergency cases.
The call follows delays in the construction of homesteads for Tsholotsho flood victims, whose homes were washed away during Cyclone Dineo earlier this year.
When Tsholotsho was hit by floods earlier this year, the government had no funds from the budget allocated towards the management of such disasters.
An appeal was then made for donations from well wishers who chipped in with various resources meant for the construction of new homesteads for the flood victims.
However, only 19 out of the targeted 319 houses have been completed so far and the victims are still living in tents which are already damaged due to extreme weather conditions.
Disaster management expert, Dr Edson Munsaka believes that a budgetary allocation for disaster management would reduce donor dependency during emergencies and enable the government to be proactive in its approach.
“That’s why when you go out you always have an open bowl because there will be nothing in government coffers and that’s why our actions are always reactive rather than proactive in disaster management. We need to concretise what is in the act especially the disaster fund, it has to be there,” said Dr Munsaka.
In addition to the allocation of funds, there is need to engage the Zimbabwe National Army to ensure a speedy completion of the Tshino and Esawudweni homesteads still under construction, noted Matabeleland North Minister of State Ambassador Cain Mathema.
“We are doing the best we can to bring back the army. Some materials are there and we are working with the head office of the Ministry of Local Government, with the new minister Cde July Moyo and his team so that we indeed build houses and therefore I’m appealing to people we need new tents,” he said.
Although the Civil Protection Act incorporates a disaster fund, indications are that no funds are availed directly in it from treasury.
The flood victims have thus become even more vulnerable as they are now exposed to numerous health hazards, worse still this wet season.