Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Government is set to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Zimbabwe after it developed a software to detect and predict floods to ensure that its relevant departments use the technology to enhance early warnings and adaptation. UZ Vice Chancellor Prof Levy Nyagura said the software was already being used in the region.
“We can tell you that a hurricane is coming using the software. People have been using it, but they do not acknowledge it.
“We have the expertise and we are ready to work with Government and other stakeholders to do research,” he said.
“We feel as a gesture of using taxpayers’ money through salaries, we need to give back to the society. The university is not UZ of 20 years ago, it is now modern and development orientated.”
Prof Nyagura was speaking at a public lecture held in commemoration of the 2017 World Water Day at the University of Zimbabwe.
Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said Government was concerned that it did not have the capacity to prepare seriously for disasters.
“More so now I understand that the University of Zimbabwe has already done extensive research which we have not taken advantage of and have not tapped on it.
“In fact it only came to light during deliberations.
“This is a challenge to my officials in the ministry that we have to look beyond Zimbabwe and yet we have already the University of Zimbabwe with such skills and information,” she said.
“I want to assure you Prof Nyagura that we are going to put our heads together and ensure that we come up with a Memorandum of Agreement not a Memorandum of Understanding so that we utilise the information that is available.”
She said during the 2015 /16 rainy season, Zimbabwe experienced the El Nino effect that resulted in the drying up of dams such as Harava and Seke in Harare.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said in some cases small towns like Kotwa and Rushinga ended up putting up piped water schemes to avert water related disasters.