Arron Nyamayaro, HMetro Reporter
Government has released $100m dollars, which was distributed among eight provinces and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, towards implementation of the action plan against the possible effects of Tropical Chalane, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Service Monica Mutsvangwa said this yesterday in a statement on government preparedness for Tropical Storm Chalane adding that government has identified and equipped evacuation centres with tents, blankets, food items, toiletries and other essentials.
“Following the early warning issued by the Meteorological Services Department, government, under the Emergency Services Sub Committee, convened its first preparedness planning meeting on 23 December 2020 and came up with an action plan,” said Min Mutsvangwa.
“Treasury released $100 million towards implementation of the action plan which was distributed among Manicaland, Masvingo, Midlands, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Mashonaland West provinces and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
“Accordingly, government has put in place the following measures to mitigate against the effects of Tropical Storm Chalane.
“We have identified and equipped evacuation centres with tents, blankets, food items, toiletries and other essentials.
“We have already started evacuation of people to safer areas.
“Every district expected to be affected by the tropical depression has come up with evacuation plans which are being coordinated by government and other stakeholders.
“The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Department, conducted geo-spatial mapping of the areas likely to be affected and this greatly assisted in coordinating evacuation efforts,” she said.
ZUPCO buses have also been deployed to ferry those needing and willing to be evacuated to places of safety.
“ZUPCO buses have also been deployed to ferry those needing and willing to be evacuated to places of safety. I am pleased to report that in Chimanimani evacuation of people in low lying areas started yesterday 29 December 2020 and to date most of the people needing assistance have been evacuated to safer areas.”
Min Mutsvangwa said in Chimanimani evacuation of people in low lying areas started on Tuesday and to date most of the people needing assistance have been evacuated to safer areas.
“Additionally, government launched awareness and publicity campaigns using traditional media such as television and radio.
“Traditional leaders, local authorities, local media houses and other community leaders have also been roped in to communicate the potential danger to their constituencies.
“Bulk messaging is also being employed in partnership with network service providers.
“Government deployed Sub Aqua units from the Zimbabwe Republic Police and personnel from Zimbabwe Defence Forces to assist potential victims.
“Relevant government departments are continuously monitoring and tracking the weather system,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa thanked construction companies that have availed their services.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank the following construction companies that have volunteered to be on standby with their earth moving equipment; Masimba Construction Company (Manicaland), Fossil Contracting (Midlands), Bitumen (Matabelelend South and North), Tensor (Mashonaland East), Exodus (Masvingo) and J.R Goddard in Manicaland.
“Indeed it is this spirit of cooperation and coming together in the face of a threat that has seen us survive and lessen the impact of past disasters such as Cyclone Idai and the present threat of Covid19. Let us draw from our spirit of resilience and Ubuntu and help our fellow neighbours when required. United, we can defeat anything that comes our way.
“Fellow Zimbabweans, I urge you all in affected areas and even beyond, to adhere to warnings from the Meteorological Services Department and the Civil Protection Unit (CPU). Citizens are advised to be on the lookout for flash flooding, mudslides, landslides, falling debris from destructive winds and open drains that may be covered with water.
“Further, caution should be taken when driving and citizens should never attempt to cross fast flowing or flooded rivers. Emergency kits should be kept close by.
“Weather updates will continue to be provided by the Met Department while those requiring more information or assistance can contact the Department or the Ministry’s toll free line 2023.
“Lastly, it is crucial as a nation that we do not forget the existing threat of Covid19 which could be exacerbated by the effects of the tropical depression Chalane. Let us continue to practise preventive measures such as wearing of masks, social distancing, washing our hands and sanitising.”