By Tamuka Charakupa
THE Department of Civil Protection has endorsed the adoption of indigenous knowledge systems in its integrated disaster risk reduction programming, anchored on early warning systems.
A three-day stakeholder engagement held at Birchnough Bridge in Manicaland was an opportunity to reflect on the state of disaster preparedness in the province, amid a consensus that indigenous knowledge systems need to be included in the integrated disaster risk reduction programme.
“We are embracing the indigenous knowledge systems when it comes to early warning systems and this is now part of our programming because we realise that we realise that it is equally important and we want to fuse that with our scientific base,” said John Misi Deputy Director Coordination, Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.
Traditional leaders and government officials are equally convinced that risk reduction programming should be premised on early warning and indigenous knowledge systems.
“As traditional leaders, we welcome this approach and we recommend further research and documentation of such information so that we create an integrated approach that complements each other,” said Chief Raymond Saurombe, Traditional leader.
“Our traditional approach used to point accurate information on weather patterns, disasters, and diseases but we had forgone them. Now that climate change is upon us, there is now the need to fuse our approaches so that we serve lives in case of disasters,” Chief Mutema, a Traditional leader.
“As MET, we are happy with this approach because we have also upgraded our infrastructure through digitising our weather stations and creating radar points so we are now able to provide timely and accurate information which we will compare with our traditional methods and learn from each other,” Tapiwa Maringo MET Officer Mutare District.
This comes at a time when community radio stations have been established in various parts of the country as part of efforts to improve the dissemination of information.