Are you disaster ready?
Disasters can strike at any time, which is why during October, in commemoration of International Disaster Risk Reduction Day on 13 October, the CWDM Disaster Management unit embarked on a month-long awareness campaign. Events took place across the district in partnership with the local municipality’s Disaster Management and Fire Services units.
To kick off the activities, an event, which focused specifically on the elderly residing in the Breede Valley Municipal (BVM) area, took place on Tuesday, 4 October 2022. In partnership with BVM’s Fire Services and SAPS, the event aimed to create awareness among the elderly of the various risks in their environment and how they can prevent, prepare, and respond to them.
A cleanup project was undertaken in Nkqubela on 14 October 2022. The Disaster Management team partnered with our Municipal Health Services and the Fire Services of Langeberg Municipality. Littering is a big issue in all our communities and together with illegal dumping, exacerbates flooding. Therefore, it is important to be proactive in summer; by cleaning up litter and other rubbish during summer one can prevent flooding in winter. A Grade 4 class of Nkqubela Primary assisted with the cleanup.
A full evacuation exercise was conducted with the learners and staff of Wemmershoek Primary School on Thursday, 20 October. The evacuation drill was accompanied by fun safety session with the Stellenbosch Fire Services. The Stellenbosch Municipality’s Fire Services debriefed the principal and teachers in respect of their evacuation plans. The Fire team helped the school put together plan based on the outcomes of the exercise and available resources to ensure the best possible outcome in the event of a real situation.
The damage and resulting disruption experienced by Steinthal Children’s Home in Tulbagh because of the 1969 earthquake was the reason for the event held there on Monday, 24 October 2022. Ms Shurine van Niekerk of the Tulbagh Earthquake Museum, highlighted how the home was affected during the earthquake and explained to the children what to do during and after an earthquake, should it strike again. The Witzenberg Municipality’s Fire Services were present at the event, where they presented a fun fire safety lesson.
More than 50 years ago, on 29 September 1969 the town of Tulbagh experienced an earthquake that claimed 12 lives and caused significant damage in Tulbagh and surrounding towns. Earthquakes remain a disaster risk for this area.
The month-long awareness campaign came to an end on 04 November, the final community activation took place in Gouda, in partnership with the Drakenstein Municipality and focused on fire safety and safety tips in terms of loadshedding and power surges.
The CWDM Disaster Management unit strives to effectively plan for and minimize the impact of disasters on the community, infrastructure, and environment. Therefore, prevention, mitigation and preparedness are at the core of their function.