Churches call for preparedness on Namwala floods

There is need to prepare for chronic flooding in Namwala and its surrounding areas, says the local churches belonging to Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ).

The church leaders said that Namwala is built in the flood plains and as a result the government and other stakeholders need to help residents of Namwala to prepare for these floods so that the area is well equipped with emergency preparedness and response facilities to handle disasters caused by flooding in the communities.

“In Namwala we need a disaster preparedness plan that will help us respond to humanitarian needs that arise due to chronic flooding,” said Dr. Philemon Michelo, the CCZ Local Emergency Committee Chairman.

Addressing 25 members of the local Emergency Committee gathered on Wednesday at the Namwala Salvation Army Church, Dr. Michelo said floods apart from bringing human suffuring in the area also bring various livestock diseases such as corridor, foot and mouth that require a preparedness plan in order to prevent animal loss.

The CCZ Namwala Local Emergency Committee members met to identify and plan for disasters that affect Namwala District. The Committee with the assistance of the CCZ Emergency and Development Office will develop an emergency preparedness plan and help the local committee fund raise for activities.

The areas in Namwala most prone to flooding are Kamutengwa, Shimwandu, Chikoto, Mundawanga, Show grounds and Busangu. Others affected are the fishing camps dotten on the Kafue River.

“CCZ is developing the capacity of local church councils to identify and avert disasters happening in their own back yards. These people have the best local knowledge, skills and if involved in these preparedness and disaster risk reduction programmes will allow for better emergency preparedness and response to disasters in Zambia,” said George Chibwana, the CCZ Emergency and Development Programme Officer.

Mr. Chibwana said the church is well placed and positioned to first know about occurring disasters in respective areas and as a result they needed to be equipped with disaster management skills to handle and prepare for these disasters.

“Our aim is to make sure that our churches are able to liaise with the local disaster management teams and be able to provide early response and assistance to those affected,” said Mr. Chibwana.

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