By Sibongile Maruta
Government has applauded the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society for its “unique” humanitarian work in local communities.
In a speech read on his behalf by permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Mr Martin Rushwaya, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said the voluntary organisation has been pivotal in key programmes such as water and sanitation, food security and disaster preparedness.
“Let me take this opportunity to applaud the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society for offering unique humanitarian services through its programmes, which include the integrated community-based HIV and AIDS programme, water and sanitation, food security, and livelihoods, restoration of family links, disaster preparedness and management, youth and organisational development as well as nurse aid training services,” said VP Chiwenga.
“I commend the presence of International Committee of Red Cross, which has been actively involved locally in humanitarian response since 1959, and the organisation remains a part of humanitarian response mix.”
The Red Cross, he said, has over the years been active in disaster response and development programmes at all levels.
The organisation recently facilitated the rehabilitation of Dakate Bridge in Chipinge, which will be handed over to the community by the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Monica Mutsvangwa.
Some of its works have even extended to rehabilitating boreholes to give communities access to potable water.
Zimbabwe Red Cross Society president Mr Edson Mlambo said over the years, the organisation has championed community-based disaster risk reduction and resilience initiatives that provide community-based solutions to everyday challenges.
He also said the organisation’s volunteers and staff use local solutions to meet the needs of vulnerable people.
“Our volunteers and staff use local solutions to meet the needs of vulnerable people, whoever they may be, wherever they may be and whatever they may need. They are truly grounded in the local community. They live there, work there, understand the culture, languages and needs, and are best placed to develop local solutions with support from the global Red Cross and Red Cross Crescent membership,” he said.