The new warehouse which is 756 square meters in size has got a life span of 50-60 years. This noble gesture by Norwegian Red Cross according to the ZRCS Secretary General Mrs Emma Kundishora speaks of humanitarian prudence. Norwegian Red Cross has for long time been supporting humanitarian work in Zimbabwe covering areas of Disaster Management and Preparedness, Organisational Development and Health and Care. They have also been instrumental in enhancing ZRCS’s financial management through Finance Development workshops conducted by their Finance Development Advisor- Africa Mr Samuel Asamoah.
The construction of the warehouse is a developmental initiative dating back to the 2008 Cholera outbreak when 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. The 2008 ERU intervention had the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Challenges experienced with the 2008 ERUs gave impetus to the Norwegian Red Cross’s construction of a warehouse for stocking food and non food relief items for disaster management and preparedness purposes.
The Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr Henry Madzorera commissioned the Warehouse. 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. Ingebjorg Stofring, ZRCS Acting National President Mr Mandlamakhulu Moyo, the ZRCS Secretary General Mrs Emma Kundishora, the International 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, The Norwegian Red Cross Vice President Mrs. Hanne Heggdal, Norwegian Red Cross Director of International Mrs Leni Stenseth and other officials from Zimbabwean Red Cross Society.
The Norwegian Ambassador Mrs. Ingebjorg Stofring in her speech highlighted that there is no better kindness than answering to the needs of the vulnerable groups. “As the Norwegian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, I feel honoured to be part of the commissioning ceremony of a project will go a long way in alleviating human suffering in the country. The great humanitarian partnership exhibited in this Norwegian Red Cross and Zimbabwe Red Cross Society project bears testimony to the positive difference that we can make in our communities once we set our minds and efforts to it.”
Dr Madzorera saluted the Norwegian Red Cross and its partner the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society for complementing government efforts in alleviating human suffering particularly where health issues are concerned. “The Red Cross movement 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. Overally, 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. Norwegian Red Cross currently funds a number of ZRCS programmes including Disaster Management, Health and Care as well as Organisational Development.
In her remarks, the Norwegian Red Cross Vice President Mrs. Hanne Heggdal reaffirmed their support for the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society`s humanitarian work. She emphasized the need for humanitarian synergies in order to alleviate human suffering in Zimbabwe. “As the Norwegian Red Cross Vice President I am elated with this achievement and I would want to confirm our continued technical, financial and material support for Zimbabwe Red Cross”
The warehouse’s construction in Gweru, a central city in Zimbabwe is strategic given the nationwide National Society operations. This warehouse will be leased to other humanitarian players for income generation. Zimbabwe Red Cross Society has got other warehouse and smaller storerooms in other provinces disaster relief material storage. The Governor for Midlands Province Honourable Jason Machaya in a speech read on his behalf applauded the Norwegian Red Cross for its humanitarian acumen and also congratulated the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society for its noble humanitarian work in Zimbabwe.