Dar Es Salaam – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers will meet in Tanzania’s Zanzibar next week to address better ways of managing calamities in the wake of ongoing droughts and floods in the region.
Jenista Mhagama, Tanzania’s minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labour, Employment, Youth and the Disabled, disclosed this on Thursday at a news conference in Dodoma.
The ministers responsible for disaster risk management will meet to discuss ways of improving the necessary technical and financing capacities when member states faced droughts and floods.
“The objective of the meeting is to lessen diversion of budgets planned for implementation of development projects to funding programmes in areas devastated by droughts or floods,” she said.
Mhagama said the meeting to be held from Feb. 18 to Feb. 21 will provide a platform for learning how the Comoros, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe coped after they were hit by Idai and Kenneth cyclones in 2019 that left the countries in devastation.
The official said 13 out of the 16 member countries of SADC were in 2016 hit by severe drought that affected about 40 million people in the region.
In November 2016, SADC ministers met in Mauritius and adopted the SADC Regional Disaster Preparedness and Response Strategy which was expected to enhance coordinated interventions to disasters in the region.
The ministers noted that there were inadequate funds set aside at the regional level to coordinate disaster risk reduction issues, including responses to disasters.
Tanzania is the current chair of the 16 SADC member states established in 1992 to address regional integration and poverty eradication within southern Africa through economic development and ensuring peace and security.