Wa­ter re­lief rolls in

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

San­tam, South Africa’s largest gen­eral in­surer, re­cently came to the aid of drought-stricken Makana Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, with a do­na­tion of 100 eco-roller wa­ter drums. The drums can store 75 litres of wa­ter and will help com­mu­nity mem­bers who need to trans­port wa­ter over long dis­tances on foot.

Makana Mu­nic­i­pal­ity is at the cen­tre of a se­vere drought that con­tin­ues to af­fect parts of the East­ern Cape. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has 125 days or less of use­able wa­ter to go un­til Day Zero. Al­though re­cent rains have brought some re­lief to the drought-stricken East­ern Cape, the re­gion re­mains in dire straits. At the be­gin­ning of the year, dam lev­els were re­ported to be at 19%. It is ex­pected that the Na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val which ended on 8 July put fur­ther strain on the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s wa­ter re­sources.

John Lomberg, San­tam’s Head of Stake­holder Re­la­tions, said the do­na­tion was part of San­tam’s long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with the Sarah Baart­man Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the P4RR (Part­ner­ship for Risk and Re­silience) pro­gramme. Makana falls un­der the Sarah Baart­man Dis­trict mu­nic­i­pal­ity. In an area where most peo­ple have a lim­ited potable wa­ter sup­ply nearby, mech­a­nisms that make col­lec­tion eas­ier are im­per­a­tive. Lomberg added that San­tam aimed to con­tinue to use its P4RR ini­tia­tive to make a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to re­duce risk in vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties.

“Our P4r­rini­tia­tive in­volves the proac­tive col­lab­o­ra­tion with vul­ner­a­ble mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to build their re­silience. Makana is one of 53 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties we part­ner with, and pre­vi­ous ef­forts in the area have in­cluded train­ing fire-fight­ers and do­nat­ing R400 000 of fire-fight­ing re­sources to im­prove disaster man­age­ment ca­pac­ity. With dis­as­ters like the drought still dev­as­tat­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, we need to pull to­gether to as­sist those most dra­mat­i­cally im­pacted by it,” he said.

The P4RR was started in 2012 and helps vul­ner­a­ble mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties mit­i­gate against risk from fire, floods, drought and storm surge haz­ards. It does this by em­pow­er­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties through re­sources and disaster man­age­ment train­ing.

Lomberg said their in­ter­ven­tions across part­ner mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in­cluded:

• GIS sup­port, for bet­ter disaster co-or­di­na­tion and re­sponse. • Makana fire fight­ers had been given ad­di­tional train­ing through the Fire Pro­tec­tion As­so­ci­a­tion of SA, an ac­cred­ited train­ing provider; • Vul­ner­a­ble en­ti­ties such as re­tire­ment homes were pro­vided with smoke de­tec­tors, as an early warn­ing sys­tem.

While the hippo rollers had been de­liv­ered dur­ing a se­vere threat to Makana’s wa­ter sup­ply, Lomberg em­pha­sised that San­tam were not “disaster tourists”.

“This is a long-term part­ner­ship,” Lomberg told Gro­cott’s Mail. “Our re­la­tion­ship with the Sarah Baart­man Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has been run­ning for three years now. Our aim is to be work­ing with 53 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties by the end of 2020, in the Part­ner­ship for Risk Re­duc­tion and Re­silience pro­gramme.”

Act­ing Mu­nic­i­pal Man­ager Ted Pil­lay said wa­ter se­cu­rity was a pri­or­ity for Makana res­i­dents.

“Wa­ter man­age­ment is one of the ba­sic ser­vices we’re try­ing to ad­dress in Makana. The dis­tri­bu­tion of eco­rollers to some of our most vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens will go a long way to help­ing to en­sure they have suf­fi­cient wa­ter ev­ery day. The rolling func­tion­al­ity makes wa­ter col­lec­tion much eas­ier,” he said.

Photo: Sue Ma­clen­nan

San­tam In­sur­ance re­cently handed over 100 hippo-roller wa­ter trans­port con­tain­ers to NGOS in drought-stricken Makana Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, as part of its Risk Re­duc­tion for Re­silience part­ner­ship with Sarah Baart­man Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity. At the han­dover in the old in­door sport cen­tre are (from left) Ma­son­wabe Nduna (As­sump­tion Devel­op­ment Cen­tre), SBDM Mu­nic­i­pal Man­ager and act­ing Makana MM Ted Pil­lay, Buyelwa Dyakala from Lithemba Co-op in Salem, Ndu­miso Nkonki (Pri­vate Eye Com­mu­nity Watch) and San­tam's CSI and Stake­holder Man­ager John Lomberg.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.