Harare (New Ziana)-Cabinet on Tuesday approved a budget amounting to US$32 million to go towards capacitating the country’s early warning systems to enable Zimbabwe to prepare for potential disasters from the 2020/21 rainfall season.
Zimbabwe is expected to receive normal to above normal rainfall in the 2020/21 rain season.
Addressing a post- Cabinet media briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the funding was set aside in view of the widespread damage experienced in the past rainfall seasons.
“Cabinet resolved to capacitate Departments that are critical in early warning systems, and approved a budget amounting to US$32 million for the facilitation of early recovery from potential adverse impacts from the 2020/2021 rainfall season,” she said.
Mutsvangwa said government was getting ready to manage rainfall- induced calamities.
“Regarding the country’s preparedness for emergencies likely to occur during the 2020/21 rainfall season, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works informed Cabinet that with high rainfall amounts expected during the 2020/21 rainfall season, Government is getting ready to deal with anticipated disasters.
“This is in view of the widespread damage experienced in the past during Cyclone Dineo in 2017 and Cyclone Idai in 2019. Accordingly, the National Contingency Plan for the 2020/2021 rainfall season has been crafted to deal with the wide range of hazards expected, which may include flash flooding, severe thunder, wind and hail storms, landslides, and major human and animal disease as well as crop pest outbreaks,” she said.
Cabinet, Mutsvangwa said, received the weather report and outlook for the period 9 to 16 October 2020following the receipt of heavy rains in excess of 50 millimetres within 24 hours in some parts of the country since Sunday.
“Cabinet was informed that some parts of the country received thunderstorms which were accompanied by lightning in some places. Other areas witnessed strong winds and hailstones, which destroyed houses in some places,” she said.
Mutsvangwa however said effective rains for the rain-fed cropping season was expected mid- November.
She warned farmers against planting without advice from Agritex.
“However, the nation is advised that effective rainfall is usually received around mid-November for most parts of the country. Those farmers who may want to start planting should liaise with their Agritex officers for the best advice,” she said.
Heavy rains have in the past resulted in flooding with the last disaster being Cyclone Idai which left a trail of destruction in Manicaland province in 2019.