Gwanda CPU preparedness

By Mvelo Mthiyane Zondo


On many occasions, the Gwanda Civil Protection Unit team is usually caught unawares in
cases of eventualities be they natural of human error disasters.
With the Meteorological Services Department on the ground and giving weather alerts and
updates after every three days for planning purposes on farming or disasters, the CPU is a
critical department that has to always be alert.
Gwanda CPU chairperson, Thulani Moyo, said like any other department they have their
shortcomings but were ready for any eventualities.
“I can say we are a bit prepared after having activated all departments within the District
Civil Protection Committee. We are challenged by absence of resources, such as fuel, tents
and food items for soft recovery initiatives.
“As of adequate resources, we are at zero, only NFI and a few tarpaulins,” explained the CPU
chairperson Moyo, who is also Gwanda District Development Co-ordinator.
Usually, the civil protection unit teams conduct some mock exercises to check the
preparedness of their departments as the police, ambulances, the fire brigade, media and
health among other departments.
Asked when last Gwanda CPU conducted this exercise, Moyo confessed that nothing had
been done recently.
“We did not test but really responded to Ward 5, Enyandeni storm disaster. The response was
fairly good under the circumstances,” said Moyo.
Meanwhile, some villagers lost their homesteads to fire. Coincidentally, the incidents were
similar although in different parts of the district.
After a closer analysis, the CPU team discovered that causes of such damages could be linked
to wrong usage of solar panels and batteries.
“This year alone, more than three homesteads were razed down by fire clandestinely with the
owners claiming ignorance of the cause of the fire.
“However, after some investigations, we discovered that at most of the affected homesteads
there would be a burnt solar panel or solar battery.
“We then gathered that they are charging their cellphone batteries direct instead of through
“The heat wave was another contributing factor as the cellphone batteries would have
overcharged leading to high voltage sparks and explosions,” explained Moyo.

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