from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional bloc has called for accelerated disaster preparedness and resilient building as disasters continue to affect economic growth of the region.
The Committee of Ministers responsible for Disaster Risk Management made the call at a just-ended meeting in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Peter Kankonde, committee chairperson, urged the region to increase its preparedness in the fight against climate change and natural disasters, and continuously seek to enhance disaster risk management.
Kankonde, who is DRC Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Security, highlighted the recent torrential rains in Bushushu and Nyamukubi in Kalehe, both in the South Kivu region in the country.
These caused extensive damage, flooding and mudslides that claimed over 400 lives and left more than 2 500 others missing.
Kankonde also drew attention to the damages and losses in the region, particularly in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa, where nearly 2 000 lives were lost between March and May of this year.
This is in addition to the billions of dollars lost in property and infrastructure damages.
Recurrent disasters are caused by floods, drought, diseases and other health issues caused by climate change and variability.
SADC has developed the Multi-Hazard Planning Framework and the Multi-Hazard Contingency Plan, both for 2022-2023.
Angèle Makombo N’tumba, SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, underscored the need for the recently published report on the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction by the United Nations to serve as a blueprint for SADC to scale up preparedness and resilience building.
This is through strengthening early warning systems and improving mechanisms that promote the sharing of early warning information.
SADC comprises 16 countries.
As Africa is heating up more and faster than other regions in the world, SADC is among parts of the region worst affected.
– CAJ News