LATEST: Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda speaks out

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Cde Jacob Mudenda

Speaker urges southern African Parliaments to embrace indigenous knowledge in disaster risk reduction efforts

In a compelling address to the Sadc Parliamentary Forum Assembly held in Mauritius, Jacob Mudenda, the Speaker of the National Assembly, called upon parliaments in southern Africa to adopt indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) in their disaster risk reduction strategies.

Mudenda emphasized the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters, citing recent events in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mudenda highlighted Zimbabwe’s efforts in developing a robust legal framework for disaster risk management, primarily governed by the Civil Protection Act, Chapter 10:06, and Section 56 of the Zimbabwe Constitution, which ensures equal protection and benefits under the law.

“It is common cause that the Sadc region has not escaped the vagaries of natural disasters as experienced recently in Zimbabwe,South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, therefore, a regional approach to managing such epic disasters is an imperative,” Mudenda stressed.

Recognizing the pivotal role of indigenous knowledge systems in disaster risk reduction, Mudenda urged parliamentarians to champion public awareness and integrate IKS as a critical component of national disaster management. He encouraged parliamentarians to engage with relevant government ministries, departments, agencies, civil society organizations, and local traditional leaders, who are essential stakeholders in this endeavour.

Mudenda also emphasized the importance of each country contributing to global efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He emphasized the need for sound national determined contributions to ensure that the world remains within the parameters set by the Paris Climate Change Agreement, limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In line with these efforts, Zimbabwe has drafted the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management Bill, which is now before Parliament.

As southern Africa continues to grapple with the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters, the adoption of indigenous knowledge systems in disaster risk reduction strategies holds immense potential. By integrating traditional wisdom with modern approaches, countries in the region can enhance their resilience and improve their ability to protect lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems in the face of these challenges.

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