dsc 1214Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Commissions Disaster Preparedness Warehouse

By Takemore Mazuruse

Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr Henry Madzorera and Norwegian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mrs Ingerbjorg Stofring commisions the new warehouse while the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Acting National President Mr Mandlamakhulu Moyo looks on

The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) on Wednesday 7 March 2012 commissioned a USD217 000 warehouse in Gweru. The warehouse which has got a life span of 50-60 years and was funded by Norwegian Red Cross comes as a matter of humanitarian prudence for the organisation which also has disaster management and preparedness as one of its core activities. Other humanitarian programmes for the organisation include Food Security and Livelihoods, Water and Sanitation, Health and Social Services, Restoration of Family Links and other areas of interest like First Aid and Nurse Aide Training services.


The construction of the warehouse is a developmental initiative which came as a result of a partnership between Norwegian Red Cross and Zimbabwe Red Cross Society dating back to the 2008 Cholera outbreak. During the 2008 Cholera outbreak, the Norwegian Red Cross together with other Red Cross partners and humanitarian agencies sent in Emergency Response Units (ERUs) to partner Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, government and other humanitarian players in combating the crisis. It is during that time thaNational Society together with the Norwegian Red Cross saw the need for a warehouse which could be used for stocking food and non food relief items for disaster management and preparedness purposes.

The warehouse’s construction in a central province in Zimbabwe is strategic given the nationwide humanitarian programmes being run by Zimbabwe Red Cross Society. This warehouse will also be leased to other humanitarian players with operations in the province and across Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe Red Cross Society has got other warehouse in Harare, Mutare in Manicaland and Gwanda in Matebeleland South with other smaller storerooms or storage containers in provinces like Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matebeleland North and Mashonaland East. These warehouses and storerooms are used for storing disaster relief materials given the Red Cross’s mandate as a disaster relief organisation whose sole mission is to save lives and alleviate human suffering.  

The magnificent warehouse was commissioned by the Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr Henry Madzorera. Also making part of the guest list was the Governor for Midlands Honourable Jason Machaya whose speech was read by Gweru Central Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Lesley Mashingaidze, the Norwegian Ambassador Mrs. Ingerbjorg Stofring, ZRCS Acting National President Mr Mandlamakhulu Moyo, the  ZRCS Secretary General Mrs Emma Kundishora, the Intyernational Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Country Representative Mr Offor Nwobodo, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Head of Delegation Mr Pascal Cuttat, Norwegian Red Cross Finance development Advisor- Africa  Mr Samuel Asamoah, The Norwegian Red Cross Vice President and other officials from the Norwegian Red Cross and Zimbabwean Red Cross Society.

Dr Madzorera saluted the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society for complementing government efforts in alleviating human suffering particularly where health issues are concerned. “The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society has for a long time been a partner of the government of Zimbabwe in providing for the health of our people and I feel honoured to be officiating at the commissioning ceremony of a warehouse which will further enhance the National Society`s humanitarian service delivery capacity.

The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society`s contribution to the local health sector is not limited to disaster management and preparedness only but also covers among other things HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria control to name a few. Working very closely with other stakeholders like the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare which I head, Ministry of Labour and Social welfare, other government arms and local and international humanitarian agencies, the organization has made a big contribution in the fight for a healthy and progressive Zimbabwe for all,” said the Minister of Health and Child Welfare.

Mr Mandlamakhulu Moyo, the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society’s Acting National President in his address thanked the Norwegian Red Cross for being an all weather friend of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society and also for its continued financial and technical support to the National Society. Norwegian Red Cross currently funds a number of ZRCS programmes including Disaster Management, Health and Care as well as Organisational Development. They have also been instrumental in enhancing ZRCS’s financial management through Finance Development workshops conducted by their Finance Development Advisor- Africa. Norwegian Red Cross also identified and supports a Finance Development delegate who is working with the ZRCS Finance Manager at the National Headquarters in Harare.

The Governor for Midlands Province Honourable Jason Machaya in a speech read on his behalf also applauded the Norwegian Red Cross for its humanitarian acumen and congratulated the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society for its noble humanitarian work in Zimbabwe. “As the Provincial Governor, I am elated to be witnessing the coming of such a noble and plausible development in the province.  The Red Cross movement is synonymous with answering to the needs of the vulnerable groups the world over and locally; the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society with the support of its partners has carved a niche for itself in the local humanitarian space. Their efforts in complementing government`s humanitarian programmes have made a positive impact in our communities. Lives have been saved, the vulnerable empowered and the needy provided for courtesy of the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society´s intervention. To the Norwegian Red Cross, I urge you to continue helping us help the needy in Zimbabwe”