Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Waternet students presentation: Floods and drought disasters

Last week on Thursday, the Waternet students made short presentations on flood or drought disasters in their respective countries namely (Mozambique, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe). For Mozambique, the heavy rains which lasted more than five weeks in 2000, resulted in flooding. Uganda, a country characterised by landslides, and prone to earthquakes, disaster struck in 2004 . Given the fact that it is situated in the East African Rift Valley, an area prone to earthquakes, did not help the situation. Zambia's food security was threatened by the severe droughts experienced in the years 2004/2005, whilst Zimbabwe was hard hit by floods in 2007/2008. The effects of these disasters was enormous for all the countries. For Mozambique, eight hundred people lost their lives , 90% of the irrigation infrastructure was destroyed, cultivated and grazing land was lost. Economic growth decreased from 10 to 4 %. For Uganda, the cost of the destruction was estimated at one hundred and twenty billion Ugandan shillings. Zambia experienced crop failure and agricultural contribution to the GDP was greatly reduced. The presentations concurred on the following: that national policies on disaster management should be formulated, and plans for the prevention and mitigation of natural disasters be implemented in the respective countries, as in the example of the Instituto Nacional de Gestao de Camidades ( National Institute of Disaster Management) in Mozambique.

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