Se­mi­nar to ta­ke s­tock of re­buil­ding

George Herald - - Medical Services -

The Ju­ne 2017 Knys­na fi­res mar­ked the most se­ve­re na­tu­ral di­sas­ter in re­cent me­mo­ry. For mont­hs Knys­na and sur­rounds we­re smoul­de­ring, with da­zed and trau­ma­ti­sed ci­ti­zens of all walks of li­fe picking up the pie­ces, as re­sour­ces to as­sist the des­ti­tu­te pou­red in from in­sti­tu­ti­ons all o­ver the coun­try.

To ta­ke s­tock of the ex­tent to which the a­rea has re­co­ve­r­ed, an en­vi­ron­men­tal se­mi­nar will be held on 6 and 7 Ju­ne at the B­ren­ton-on-Sea com­mu­ni­ty hall, hos­ted by the Sout­hern Ca­pe Lan­do­w­ners I­ni­ti­a­ti­ve (SCLI) and part­ners, Knys­na Municipality, the Gar­den Rou­te Re­build I­ni­ti­a­ti­ve (GRRI), SCFPA, Eden District Municipality and Nelson Man­de­la U­ni­ver­si­ty.

W­hat has been a­chie­ved?

One of the cri­ti­cal tas­ks of the GRRI was the com­pi­la­ti­on of ma­na­ge­ment plans as well as se­ver­al cos­ting pro­po­sals to na­ti­o­nal go­vern­ment, to access di­sas­ter ma­na­ge­ment fun­ding stre­ams. The GRRI com­pri­ses se­ver­al work stre­ams ai­med at re­buil­ding a bet­ter Knys­na and re­sto­ring the sur­roun­ding en­vi­ron­ment, but it is now es­sen­ti­al­ly dor­mant, says Mei­ring.

"The p­ri­va­te sec­tor was the fas­test to re­act. The Knys­na Bu­si­ness Fund was up and run­ning in no ti­me. The GRRI En­vi­ron­men­tal Work Stre­am re­cei­ves brid­ging fun­ding through this fund to do most of the e­ro­si­on con­t­rol and in­va­si­ve a­lien plant ma­na­ge­ment, with the Sout­hern Ca­pe Fi­re Pro­tecti­on As­so­ci­a­ti­on as im­ple­menting a­gent. The end of this fun­ding cy­cle is ho­we­ver im­mi­nent, and much en­vi­ron­men­tal re­sto­ra­ti­on work still needs to be do­ne in co­ming y­e­ars."

He says that, with go­vern­ment w­heels slow to turn, few of the fun­ding re­que­sts to na­ti­o­nal go­vern­ment ha­ve bor­ne fruit, and to da­te, t­hey ha­ve not re­cei­ved cla­ri­ty on the pro­spects of the re­que­sts being ap­pro­ved.

Se­mi­nar

S­pea­kers at the se­mi­nar will in­clu­de Dr M­map­ha­ka Tau of Na­ti­o­nal Di­sas­ter Ma­na­ge­ment, who will be dis­cus­sing di­sas­ter ma­na­ge­ment in South A­fri­ca; Ger­hard

Ot­to of Eden District Municipality, who will speak a­bout di­sas­ter ma­na­ge­ment in Eden; and Dr Ti­ne­ke Kraaij of the Na­tu­ral Re­sour­ce Ma­na­ge­ment at NMU, who will speak a­bout fi­re re­sto­ra­ti­on from a con­ser­va­ti­on per­specti­ve. Ot­her s­pea­kers will dis­cuss the so­cio-e­co­no­mic im­pact of the di­sas­ter as well as the con­so­li­da­ti­on of the col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve ef­forts of the GRRI.

To at­tend, con­tact Co­bus Mei­ring on

083 626 7619 / co­bus@na­tural­brid­ge.co.za by F­ri­day 25 May.

In less than a month from now, the Knys­na com­mu­ni­ty and go­vern­ment struc­tu­res will be ta­king s­tock of the ex­tent to which it has re­co­ve­r­ed from the di­sas­ter.

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