AFTER THE FIRE: THE GOOD NEWS
• The Featherbed Nature Reserve will soon launch a hiking trail where the permit for the hike will include a packet of seeds of the flora that was destroyed by the fire. Hikers can be part of the rehabilitation process by planting them as they walk. knysnafeatherbed.com There were many heart-warming accounts of locals helping each other during the fires. Most of these stories are now recorded in a commemorative book, Knysna Fire Stories. Funds raised from the sale of the book will go to improving Knysna’s firefighting ability, aiding the tourism sector and providing other assistance in rebuilding. The first edition has already sold out, but a reprint is being done. R395. knysnafirestories.co.za • Twenty workers who lost their jobs in the tourism sector as a result of the fires improved their skills through a project run by Skål International, which promotes global tourism. They have now returned to their jobs with new and upgraded skills. • So far, the Garden Route Rebuild Initiative (GRRI) has trained 40 previously unemployed people from local communities to assist with invasive-alien control, soil-erosion mitigation and building firebreaks around communities. • Connected to this, the GRRI has submitted funding proposals to the National Disaster Management Centre. ‘Should the application be successful, it will be the first time in SA that disaster funding has been allocated to environmental projects after a disaster,’ says Paul Bucholz, project manager for the GRRI’s Environmental Management Workstream.