“Gender mainstream floods support”
10 March 2017
HUMANITARIAN and development partners supporting the country in the wake of floods that have ravaged some parts of the country have been called to ensure that they consider gender mainstreaming their support.
The call was made by the United Nations Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli recently following a visit to the affected communities noting with sadness how the floods have affected the same areas that were hit hard by drought in the past years.
“Sadly the districts that are affected by the flooding are the same areas that have been hard hit by the drought in the past two years.
“There is need to gender mainstream and adhere to humanitarian principles and establish clear linkage to ongoing recovery, resilience building and long-term development programmes,” he said.
Districts that have been mostly affected by the floods are: Chiredzi, Kanyemba, Lupane, Mwenezi, Mberengwa, Insiza, and Tsholotsho.
Full damage assessments are yet to be carried as most of the areas remain inaccessible due to flooding.
Gender mainstreaming refers to a process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in any given area and at all levels.
The UN Coordinator has also urged the partners to ‘calibrate their support by aligning and scaling-up support to the flood affected communities following a trail of destruction left by Cyclone Dineo.
“There is need to align existing sectoral mechanisms to take stock of and coordinate ongoing responses to the flooding crisis, and also further identify gaps in their respective sectors.”
More than 251 people have been reported dead, over 2000 people displaced, livelihoods disrupted and infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools and water sources sustained heavy damages, mainly across the southern part of the country as a result of heavy flooding induced by Cyclone Dineo.
The Government has already declared it a national disaster and has called for support from humanitarian and development partners following the setting up of a Cabinet Committee on emergency preparedness and disaster management.
In response to the Government’s appeal, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations have been on the ground providing temporary shelter, water, hygiene and sanitation, no-food items, education materials, medicine and nutrition supplements to internally displaced people.
According to the UN, the communities affected by flooding are still in dire need of assistance as the support rendered so far from meeting the requirements of the communities.
UN added that there was still a huge gap in terms of lifesaving assistance such as tents, blankets, water and sanitation and hygiene supply is urgently required as the humanitarian community work together to prepare a comprehensive response plan.
To further enhance coordination at local level, the Government has also reinforced sub national civil protection structures led by Provincial and District Administrators.
The national coordination mechanisms have managed to rescue people to safety and deliver emergency relief supply. These efforts have been joined by a number of humanitarian partners including the United Nations.
In an effort to build back better communities following the floods, the partners have agreed for a multi-sctoral response on a comprehensive needs assessment, covering sectors like infrastructure, shelter, WASH, education, health, food security and agriculture.