In marking the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Friday called on member states to step up efforts to mitigate the impacts of disasters.
“As we commemorate this day, I call upon SADC member states and the global community to step up efforts to mitigate the impacts of disasters,” said SADC Executive Secretary Elias Magosi, as the inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, capital of Botswana, joins the global community in commemorating the day, which falls on Oct. 13 annually.
Magosi said SADC member states can step up efforts through sustained mitigation of global warming and the impacts of climate change, accelerated effort and investment in disaster risk reduction, enhance resilience and develop measures to ensure equal access to basic social services, adding that only through such coordinated and deliberate actions can a meaningful disaster risk reduction for all be realized.
According to Magosi, the SADC region continues to grapple with the devastation from disasters, more often resulting in the loss of lives and extensive destruction of property and infrastructure.
It is projected that disasters will continue with increased intensity and frequency in the foreseeable future, resulting in heightened negative social and economic impacts, he said.
Between February and March this year, Tropical Cyclone Freddy ravaged the region and affected over 2 million people, resulting in a total of 1,400 deaths in Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique.