VILLAGERS in three districts of Manicaland Province are set to benefit from a programme being spearheaded by World Vision aimed at improving disaster preparedness in their communities.
The programme – Strengthening Community-Led Actions on Education and Disaster Preparedness (SCALE-DP) – will be implemented in Chipinge, Chimanimani and Buhera districts.
It is targeting 135 000 children, 40 000 women and 37 000 men, including in Nkayi and Tsholotsho.
World Vision is partnering various Government departments and other development partners Welthungerhilfe, Christian Blind Mission and European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) for the project, which started operating in June.
It will run for two years.
The development partners will perform various roles in areas of operation, which include emergency in education, disaster risk reduction and disability inclusion components.
SCALE-DP programme manager Dr Tapiwa Muzerengi said the project also seeks to promote early responses and access to inclusive education in protective environments.
“Among other things, the programme will enhance disaster preparedness of 250 schools in five districts of operations. It is unique because of its inclusive nature. For example, it will incorporate disaster preparedness and response for people with disabilities. This will include the procurement of assistive devices for children with varying disabilities like braille material for the visually impaired and retro-fitting such as building ramps to ensure that those with physical impairments can access classrooms for learning.
“Disaster proofing for schools will also be part of the activities under the programme as we intend to facilitate the refurbishment of schools’ infrastructure to withstand harsh weather conditions. The programme will also enable the stock piling of non-food items, revitalising community disaster preparedness committees as well as enhancing functional early warning systems so that communities can adequately respond in case of an emergency,” said Dr Muzerengi.
Dr Muzerengi said the interventions will use existing community structures to ensure the sustainability and participation of vulnerable groups.