Category: <span>Municipal Health</span>

Invitation to participate in the Household Composting Pilot Project:  Zoar (Kannaland Municipality)

Garden Route District Municipality, in collaboration with Kannaland Municipality, will roll out a Household Composting Pilot Project in Zoar.  Approximately 30% of household waste being disposed of at landfill consists of organic waste that could potentially be diverted from landfill by means of household composting.  Further, household composting could subsequently result in a huge waste management cost saving and put sorely needed nutrients back into our soil.

The pilot project will run for a duration of one year and the data collected will be used to motivate the further roll out of the project to all households in the Kannaland municipal area.  Permanent residents in Zoar are invited to apply for participation in the pilot project.

It must be noted that provision was made to accommodate only thirty (30) households in the pilot project who will be provided with a composting bin, and / or a worm farm, a scale and data sheets.  Due to the limited number, the first thirty applications received will be selected to participate in the project.

All applicants must conform to the following criteria:

  • Must reside permanently in Zoar for the duration of the pilot project (at least one year).
  • Must attend an information session regarding the composting project that will be held in Zoar.
  • Must be willing to participate in the pilot project and report organic waste quantities on a monthly basis for the duration of the pilot project (one year).
  • Composting bins will only be distributed to households with a garden / lawn / vegetable garden(s) generating green waste.
  • Households / apartments that do not have gardens / yards i.e. that generate green waste can be provided with only a worm farm for kitchen scraps etc.

Click here to download the application forms to participate in the pilot project.

Completed application forms must be sent to wayne@gardenroute.gov.za by no later than Friday, 30 October 2020.

News Release: Reduce, reuse and replant – home composting project rolled out in Bitou

News Release

19 October 2020

Reduce, reuse and replant – home composting project rolled out in Bitou

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) continues to roll our home composting projects throughout the Garden Route.

GRDM Waste Management Officer, Mr Johan Gie presenting an insightful presentation about home composting during the information session.

Home composting not only keeps material from overburdening landfill sites but also reduces transport costs of refuse removal services. An earlier waste characterisation study revealed that large quantities of organic waste still got transported from households and businesses in the Garden Route district. Since most landfills sites in the Garden Route are already closed or nearing their fully capacity, the GRDM initiated a home composting pilot project in 2018 to practically and gradually advocate and promote the reduction of organic waste from households going to landfills.

The home composting project aims to motivate the different councils to roll out this project to all households in the municipal areas, and thus extending the lifespans of landfills. After months of waiting due to COVID-19 restrictions, officials from the Bitou Municipality’s Waste Management section and residents from Bitou welcomed the rollout of the project.

Mr Douglas Baardman was very excited for the project to finally kick-off.

A formal information and handover session took place on Wednesday, 14 October 2020. At the event, the Bitou Municipality’s Waste Management Manager, Mr Douglas Baartman, who officially open the session, expressed his Councils gratitude towards the GRDM for initiating the project in the Bitou municipal area. He also mentioned that residents responded in excitement and great numbers to the project – a lot of applications were received.  In concluding he thanked the GRDM Waste Management team for their leadership role and guidance.

Johan Gie with a participant (right), ready to start her own home composting project

Mr Johan Gie, Waste Management Officer of the GRDM did an in-depth presentation about home composting, which was followed by a question and answering session.  He discussed topics inclusive of benefits of home composting; what and what not to compost; how to compost; and the different types of composing.  One of the highlights of the session was when participants were provided with established worm farms.  In addition, each participant also received a troubleshooting guide and guidelines on composting; an electronic scale to record monthly waste diverted for composting, and datasheets to complete monthly statistics.

The information session was conducted in a very informative way and participants were very eager in asking questions.

GRDM Municipal Waste Management section agreed with participants to complete monthly updates to enable the GRDM to monitor the progress of the project and capture data for future reference.  The pilot project will run for a year and results from the study will be presented to Local Municipal Councils. In this report, the exact quantities of organic waste diverted from landfills with the assistance and buy-in from households and businesses will be listed.

Considering that 30% – 40% of the normal household black bag waste contains organic waste originating from the garden and kitchen, the project will seek to change these worrying numbers. Composting is a simple, environmentally friendly and cheap way to add nutrient-rich humus to fuel plant growth and restores vitality to depleted soil.

Medical male circumcision to benefit men and their partners

Media Release: Medical male circumcision to benefit men and their partners

16 October 2020

Primary Health Care clinics are  once again continuing services that were high risk during the peak of the pandemic. One of these are medical male circumcisions (MMC).

“Apart from drastically reducing the risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted illnesses, MMC also improves hygiene and reduces the risk of developing penile cancer and the risk of passing the virus that causes cervical cancer to their female partners”, said Programme Manager Sandra Smit.

Smit also elaborates on the great turn-out of young men during MMC outreaches.

“Our programme did really well, and although we had to postpone outreaches and procedures we are excited to get back on track and assist as many men as possible. We implore the youth to make the best decisions for their current and future health. One of those is getting circumcised. The new guideline focus on ages 15 years and older but we will not deny services of those that are younger. Boys under the age of 18 must have parental consent”, she said.

Twenty-year-old Luwayne Michaels says he had the procedure done to ensure he has a healthy family one day. “I wanted to minimize my risk for opportunistic infections, and the fact that I can reduce the risk of my partner developing cervical cancer made it easier to decide”.

MMC is the complete removal of the foreskin. The procedure requires only local anaesthetic and takes about 20 minutes. Patients can leave the facility and go home after the procedure. The wound takes about 6 weeks to heal.

Male Circumcision is not a guarantee that you will not get HIV. Men still need to use a condom each time they have sex, even if they have been circumcised.

Men who are interested should visit their nearest clinic or Primary Health Care Centre to make an appointment for the procedure.  The service is free of charge.

-END-

Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health

Media Statement: Municipal communicators make shocking discoveries at illegal dump site

Media Statement
For Immediate Release
8 October 2020

Municipal communicators make shocking discoveries at illegal dump site

Municipal communicators from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) recently visited an illegal dump site in Pacaltsdorp to photograph the progress made by contractors tasked to clean sites. With shock, communicators noted a countless number of items, including toxic, sharp and dangerous ones, as well as foul smelling water – leaving one communicator almost vomiting from the stench. “The scariest part is that there were kids playing in the same area, metres from the dangerous field of waste and water,” said one communicator.

The GRDM, in collaboration with George Municipality are hard at work trying to clear illegal dump sites in the George area, including Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp. GRDM has committed R2.47 million to the project. George Municipality earlier announced that they will contribute R500 000.00 to curb illegal dumping. JCB backhoe loaders are utilised to clear sites and 35 Expanded Public Works Participant (EPWP) waste pickers work alongside these trucks to collect smaller items. More activities are lined up to take place over the next few months, including a survey to find out why people illegally discard of waste; and door-to-door awareness about the impact of illegal dumping , etc.

The question many Garden Routers is asking is – do we all want the areas cleaned or have many of us decided that a clean and safe environment is not important? The GRDM stumbled upon concerns raised on Facebook by a government employee who said that an illegal dumpsite was cleaned by the municipalities (Garden Route District and George), but moments later someone dumped their waste there again. Others commented on her post by saying that municipalities should plant trees at the sites, however this suggestion was said not to work because some community members might remove the trees. Another person said that the municipalities cleaned an area on a Monday, but by Tuesday the area was dirty again.

GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) monitor the areas each day after a clean-up was conducted. EHPs are already aware that water at illegal dumping sites are toxic, but a decision was made to take water samples which will be analysed. Test results will indicate how dangerous these sites are  (backed by scientific evidence).

The public are urged to remind their friends, family and neighbours that the illegal dumping of waste is dangerous and that it poses a health hazard. Waste should be collected in refuse bags and placed for collection on waste removal days. Builders’ rubble and waste not suitable for bags must be dropped at the municipal refuse site on the R102 (airport road).

Communities can provide names, vehicle registration details or addresses of alleged illegal dumpers and make a statement in this regard by contacting Law Enforcement at 044 801 6350 or sprins@george.gov.za. George Municipality states that a person doesn’t need a photograph of the perpetrator, but that it would strengthen the case for a warning or fine to be issued.

Members of the public are also welcome to report illegal dumpsites to 044 802 2900.

Illegal dumping remains an offence and carries a R1000 fine.

ENDS

 

News Release: Environmental Health Practitioners still optimistic amidst the pandemic

News Release
For Immediate Release
30 September 2020

Environmental Health Practitioners still optimistic amidst the pandemic

Since March 2020, all Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) have worked at grassroots level to raise awareness about COVID-19 to formal and informal business sectors. Awareness shared not only included the signs and symptoms of the Coronavirus disease, but more importantly, ways in which to minimize and prevent the spread of it.

“Since March 2020, three (3) EHPs out of 39 contracted COVID-19,” said Mr Johan Compion, GRDM Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services. “It has been a stressful time for EHPs and their families, especially for those who have family members at home stressed if their partners contracted COVID-19 while moving around,” he said.

GRDM Executive Manager, Mr Clive Africa explained that the multi-agency approach to curbing the spread of the virus is one of the reasons why not many lives were lost. “Our Firefighters and the additional 20 Expanded Public Works Programme workers, since 1 April 2020, disinfected a countless number of sites,” said Africa.

“None of these front-line workers contracted the virus, which is something we can be very grateful about”.

More frequent inspections were conducted at premises to ensure that the public stayed protected. Basic principles such as hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and social distancing were taught.  In addition, important factors such as adequate ventilation, the use of personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfection of transport vehicles and pest control, were also shared and monitored.

Today, COVID-19 education is still done at informal and formal businesses, which include the following:

  • beauty salons (barbers, hairdressers and tattoo parlours)
  • old age homes/retirement homes
  • retail stores
  • churches
  • banks
  • SASSA PAY points
  • soup kitchens
  • clinics
  • schools
  • crèches
  • homes of COVID-19 patients
  • correctional services
  • police stations
  • door-to-door awareness
  • libraries
  • farms
  • holiday resorts/spas
  • hospitals
  • funeral undertakers
  • milking parlours
EHPs monitor compliance at a funeral.

Despite the hard work already done by EHPs, many community members do not wear masks. EHPs also found that many people do not adhere to social distancing protocols and ignore other COVID-19 preventative measures. In some cases, family members of those who were awaiting test results moved around while they should have been in quarantine. It has also noted with concern that social stigma and discriminatory behaviour occurred against people with COVID-19 or those who recovered from it.  GRDM urges the public to play their part in helping to curb the spread of this virus instead of fuelling the stigma around this pandemic.

Despite all the challenges faced, EHPs will continue to roll out preventative measures to combat and curb the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus disease.

ENDS

Awareness – COVID-19 Return to Place of Worship Guideline

17 September 2020

Fighting COVID-19 is a collective responsibility. Therefore, this guideline is developed to guide churches and places of worship to adhere to the golden rules of COVID-19 to curb the spread of the disease.

The virus can spread in churches and places of worship through singing, shouting, talking, preaching, sneezing and coughing. It can also spread if social distancing and no physical touching protocols are not adhered to.

Everyone should be aware that returning to place of worship will be different and a lot of adjustments need to be made. All churches are different and it is important that these principles should be viewed as a guide in developing their own document.

Click here to download the guideline.

For more information, contact:
Mr Johan Compion,
Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services
Tel: 044-803 1300 / 044-803 1525
E-mail: jcompion@gardenroute.gov.za

Those in self-isolation and quarantine in Oudtshoorn stay at home

 EHPs who conducted the compliance visits were (fltr): Willie Plaatjies and Johan Smith (Oudtshoorn), Marcelles Hurling and Haemish Herwels (Riversdale) Desmond Paulse and Elizna Cairncross, with (front, sitting) Francois Koelman (Oudtshoorn)Monique Anthony and Ikhanya Hendriks (Mossel Bay), as well as Ivy Mamegwa, Jessica Erasmus, Clive Africa (Executive Manager: Community Services) and Johan Compion (Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services) from George, were absent during the photograph.

“Everyone was found to be 100% compliant following a routine inspection by Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) to  Oudtshoorn households,” said GRDM Manager for Municipal Health Services of the Klein Karoo Region,” Mr Desmond Paulse.

On Friday 17 July 2020, EHPs from GRDM offices in the Hessequa, Mossel Bay and George sub-districts joined the GRDM Oudtshoorn EHPs to conduct COVID-19 compliance inspections at 71 households where positive COVID-19 patients were in self -isolation. Compliance visits include checking if those who are supposed to be in isolation are at home and are following all COVID-19 protocols.

In concluding each visit, EHPs donate bottles of sanitiser sprays to each household and continue to raise health and hygiene awareness in the affected areas. Each household is given pamphlets relating to home care advice and how to properly disinfect one’s home.

Mr Desmond Paulse shared a word of gratitude to all participants who supported the Oudtshoorn EHPs during the visits in their effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to save lives.

Household surfaces have to be regularly cleaned with disinfectant.  Photo: Pexels

Home care advice

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water,
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow and throw the tissue away safely in a bin,
  • Double-bag household waste and store for 5 days before putting it out for collection.

How to clean and disinfect surfaces in your home

  • Mix 6 teaspoons of bleach with 1 litre (4 cups) of water and apply to the surface. Leave for 2 minutes and then wipe off with water.

ENDS

News Release: Guidelines for businesses offering services such as haircuts, tattoos and manicures

News Release
For Immediate Release
14 July 2020

While South Africa is still operating under alert level 3, hairdressers, barbershops, nail and toe treatment, facial treatment, make-up, body massage, tattooing and body piercing were allowed to re-open their doors on 19 June 2020. However, stricter health and hygiene protocols had to be in place at all these businesses to protect their employees and the public. The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is in full support of these businesses to operate again after many employers and employees were left without an income for nearly three months, as long as all the protocols are adhered to.

Following to the opening of these businesses, the GRDM also received applications for new businesses to open their doors. All existing and new businesses are required to be in possession of a health certificate issued by the GRDM Environmental Health Practitioner (EHP), said Mr Johan Compion, GRDM Manager Municipal Health and Environmental Services. “If a hair salon, barbershop or body piercing shop doesn’t have one, the owner needs to apply for it by contacting one of our offices for more information, otherwise enforcement will take place,” he said.

DETAILS TO BE PRESENTED WHEN APPLYING

These are the details all barbers and hairdressers need to present when to apply for a health certificate:

  • The business name
  • The physical address of the premises
  • The name and identity number of the owner or person in charge

HEALTH CERTIFICATE RULES

  1. The health certificate must be displayed in a conspicuous manner on the premises and it must be clearly visible to everyone entering the premises.
  2. The health certificate is not transferable from one owner to another or from one premises to another.
  3. The certificate should be renewed in case of change of ownership; in the case of renovations/additions to the existing premises and if the service moves from one premises to another premises.

For an application of a Health Certificate, structural requirements, waste management requirements, and any other standards, make contact with the following GRDM EHP chiefs:

Hessequa area

Mossel Bay area

George area (Wilderness)

Outeniqua area

Lakes area (Knysna)

Bitou area

Oudtshoorn & Kannaland areas

Guidelines/checklist in terms of the Municipal Health Services Bylaw of 2018:

  • Internal walls easily cleanable and painted with a light coloured paint.
  • Floors constructed of an easily cleanable with smooth finish
  • The ceiling must be constructed of a dust proof material.
  • Ventilation and illumination
  • Ablution facilities
  • Separate Basins: Adequate number of basins for the washing of hair and supplied with hot and cold
  • Waste water disposal system approved by Local Authority
  • Change room(s)
  • Refuse disposal
  • A central refuse storage area
  • The premises may not be used for food preparation or for sleeping
  • The premises and all equipment used in connection should always be maintained in good conditions and clean and sanitary.
  • No animals permitted on the premises, unless in the case of a guide dog
  • Instruments kept clean and disinfected after each use
  • Adequate numbers of towels
  • Laundry
  • Facility for cleaning crockery and utensils if beverages are served
  • Containers used for the storage of health care risk waste should be clearly labeled in large, legible lettering.
  • Employees should be adequately trained in the identification, separation, handling and storing of health care risk waste.
  • Health care risk waste may only be removed/ collected, transported, treated and disposed by a registered service provider from the premises.
  • Accurate and up to date records of all health care risk waste generated by the facility must be kept.
  • The use of dyes, pigments and stencils and tattoo procedures
  • In preparing dyes or pigments, non-toxic materials should be used.
  • Single-use, sterile, individual containers for dyes or pigments must be used for each
  • The stencil, unless composed of acetate, should be used for a single tattoo procedure only. Acetate stencils may be disinfected and re-used.

Download the bylaw here: http://www.gardenroute.gov.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Garden-Route-DM-Municipal-Health-Services-By-law-Dec-2018.pdf

ENDS