East PS calls for skills improvement on disaster management

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Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga has said there was need for the Provincial Disaster Management Committee (PDMC) to improve their skills in order to timely and effectively save lives, assets and infrastructure through quickly responding to disasters.

Dr. Mulenga said the committee should be prepared for natural calamities and other disasters which may occur.

He noted that the occurrence of disasters was inevitable in an industrialized economy which Zambia has adopted to promote manufacturing.

He was speaking at the emergency simulation training for PDMC in Chipata this morning.

"To emphasize the significance of this exercise, I want to remind you of flash floods events that were experienced in Mambwe district in recent past in Chikowa area and Kasenengwa river bank where people were displaced and property destroyed," he said.

Dr. Mulenga however expressed happiness that the response to the two events was quick hence negative impacts of the disaster was mitigated.

He pointed out that a combination of emergencies shelter, relief maize, mealie meal and other foodstuffs were quickly provided to the affected households.

He further said such emergencies require the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to be prepared.

Dr. Mulenga further said there was need to include early warning and contingency plan development process to easily manage disasters in the region.

"I am aware that the World Food Programme has a long term working relationship with Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in the area of vulnerability and risk assessment, which we appreciate as a province," he added.

He has since urged participants to adopt best practices and lead by example through making use of the information gathered from the training.

He stated that as chairperson of the PDMC, he would closely monitor the responses that will follow after the training to ensure improvement was noticed.