Disaster Risk Reduction, Emergency Preparedness and Response


Way forward for disaster management in Zambia

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Way forward for disaster management in Zambia

ensuring learning continuity even in emergencies
© UNICEF Zambia/2010/Simasiku
UNICEF tents set up as classrooms in flooded Kazungula District to ensure learning continuity for children

Emergency preparedness and response

The UN and stakeholders will continue to support the government in disaster preparedness and response efforts. Special emphasis on the UN support to government on preparedness and response will focus on technical, financial, and logistics support. The UN will be involved in government lead inter-agency assessments, analysis and reporting, contingency planning, project implementation, capacity development, establishing and strengthening disaster management systems such as early warning and information management systems and the overall coordination mechanisms. The UN disaster Management Team will remain to be the focal point for UN support to the government on disaster issues and will coordinate among all agencies.

Advocacy on policy development for sustainable disaster management
Whilst the UN will continue to support government in planning and responding to emergencies, it is important to note that, it is better for the government to develop ways and means of mitigation or preventing the disasters and their impact on the lives and livelihoods of the communities at risk. The Hyogo framework which clearly spells out the commitments made by member countries to adopt the 5 priority areas have not been fully adhered to in Zambia. The 5 priority areas of the Hyogo framework indicate that countries should:

  • Ensure that disaster risk reduction is a national and local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation
  • Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and enhance early warning
  • Use knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels
  • Reduce the underlying risk factors
  • Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.

Disaster risk reduction should be a priority for the Zambian government. The UN should continue to advocate through government to development policies that will ensure that floods do not impact heavily on the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities, that education of children who are often displaced by floods is guaranteed, that basic social services are in place and that epidemics do not kill Zambian children. Epidemics are often as a result of hygiene and sanitation challenges in unplanned settlements in peri-urban areas.

Capacity building and coordination mechanisms

DRR being a new concept in Zambia, a lot still needs to be learnt. UNICEF and the rest of the UNCT will continue to support government and other stakeholders in building their capacity on Disaster Risk Reduction programming.

Support will also be provided to have strong coordination systems in Lusaka and in the provinces that are prone to disasters with the establishment of sector coordinating bodies and supporting the smooth functioning of those systems.

Funding for DRR

There is pressure by the donor community for Zambia to focus a lot on building resilience among vulnerable communities to cope with disasters through the disaster risk reduction approaches. So far, there have not been any funding mechanisms identified to implement DRR activities.

The current work that is on-going on DRR is supported by re-programming some activities and that is on a very low scale. UNICEF and the rest of the UN will continue to search for ways of soliciting funding support for DRR activities.



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