News

The following severe weather alerts have been issued by the Cape Town Weather office:

Hazard 1 Alert Level Valid From (SAST) Valid To (SAST)
High Seas Watch 21/06/19 00h00 22/06/19 00h00

Wave heights between 6-7.5m are expected between Cape Columbine and Cape Agulhas from Friday evening, spreading to Plettenberg Bay Saturday morning, subsiding by the afternoon.

Description: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

Precautions: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.
Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.  Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.

If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Hazard 2 Alert Level Valid From (SAST) Valid To (SAST)
Damaging Winds Watch 21/06/19 00h00 21/06/19 00h00

Watch: Gale force north-westerly winds (60-75km/h, gusting 80-100km/h) are expected in places over the Central Karoo, Breede Valley, Cape Peninsula, and coastal regions between Table Bay and Plettenberg Bay (Western Cape) on Friday(21/06/2019). Advisory: Strong north-westerly to westerly (40-60km/h)winds are expected over the southern West Coast District, Cape Winelands, Overberg and Garden Route Districts (Western Cape) on Friday.

Description: Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

To report any incidents, contact the GRDM Disaster Management Centre at tel: 044 805 5071

The Garden Route Annual Fire Commemoration Event, Climate Change & Adaptation Indaba successfully hosted in Wilderness

The Garden Route Annual Fire Commemoration Event, Climate Change & Adaptation Indaba hosted by Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) in collaboration with the South Cape Environmental Forum once again reminded roleplayers about the fire outbreaks of 2017 and 2018 in the Garden Route and the aftermaths and tragic losses as a result of the fires. The Indaba took place on 7 June 2019 at the Wilderness Hotel in Wilderness of which approximately 150 delegates attended.

Garden Route District Municipality was well represented at the event. FLTR are: Dr Nina Viljoen, Cllrs Rowen Spies, Erica Meyer, Thersia van Rensburg, Joslyn Johnson, Mayor Memory Booysen, Daniel Saayman, Mr Gerhard Otto and Deputy Mayor Rosina Ruiters.

Delegates represented organisations and institutions, such as the National Department of Environmental Affairs, the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Stellenbosch University and Nelson Mandela University, as well as GRDM and Knysna Municipality were in attendance.

Various role-players from Government Organisations, Training Institutions, Municipalities and members of the media attended the event. Front (fltr) GRDM Manager:  Disaster Management, Mr Gerhard Otto, Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen and Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu.

The main purpose of the event, was not to only host the Annual Fire Commemoration event, but also to build on the momentum and team effort the region has created in their efforts to recover from the fire, but also to host a Climate Change Indaba, according to Municipal Manager of GRDM, Mr Monde Stratu. In his welcoming address to the attendants, Mr Stratu said: “It is our objective to shape a better prepared, climate- ready and resilient Garden Route environment for our community, and we trust that you will be able to assist us in achieving that ambitious goal”.

Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at GRDM during, her presentation at the event.
Dr Jo Barnes, Epidemiologist and Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Community Health at the Stellenbosch University, spoke about the harsh realities of the impact of climate change on public health systems in the Garden Route.

In referring back to losses and the recovery of losses and damages as a result of the fires, Mr Cobus Meiring, Secretariat of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) said:  “Recent reports released by Santam and others indicate that the damages incurred by the 2017 Knysna wildfire disaster are very close to three billion rand. For the large insurance companies to arrive at accurate calculations took them a full two years to consolidate all pay-outs and peripheral and associated costs. Three billion rand is a staggering amount of money and is indicative of the kind of damage the fury of nature can incur on civilisation and the environment in a matter of hours. However, when taking into account what best could be described as collateral damage, could be a lot harder to calculate. Take for instance the number of retired folk from Knysna and Plettenberg Bay deciding not to rebuild at all, land becoming vacant for extended periods, formerly employed people now struggling to find new employment opportunities, with employers having decided to move on following the disaster, or even leaving the country as some reportedly did, and suddenly the situation looks even worse than expected,” Meiring said.  It is for these reasons that Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at GRDM described the event as crucial in the way the region is planning ahead with a challenging environment at play.

The event was facilitated by Mr Cobus Meiring, Secretariat of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

Most of the presentations made at the event, placed emphasis on water security, high quality water resources, the living conditions of the communities, sanitation facilities, regrowth of alien vegetation, to name a few. All these factors place a high risk on the state of health of the residents of the area and the economic growth of the Garden Route.   These were furthermore and significantly emphasised by Dr Jo Barnes, Epidemiologist and Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Community Health at the Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, when she spoke about the harsh realities of the impact of climate change on public health systems.

GRDM Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, could not ignore the after effects of the fires in his address, when he made an announcement:  “As we pride ourselves as a District Municipality striving to improve the way we manage our environment, the GRDM and our Environmental Forum has secured substantial funding and support from the Fund for the Rebuild of Knysna to assist landowners who were severely affected by the Knysna, and more recent fires, to deal with the scourge of invasive alien plant re-growth”.  In coming to a point where resolutions had to be taken and the way forward was discussed, Mr Gerhard Otto, GRDM Manager for Disaster Management said, “The establishment of the Garden Route Environmental Forum, mandated by the District Municipality and incorporating non-governmental conservation bodies and public platforms, was a first in the Western Cape, and allows for greater cooperation between private landowners and regional and national authorities.”

In conclusion, Otto added that floods and fire in the immediate and foreseeable future can be reduced, but only if those tasked with planning and management understand the issues at play and implement mitigation measures in accordance,” Otto added. “The announcement of a regional public/ private programme to assist landowners who were affected by recent fires and a scourge of invasive alien plant re-growth is a first of its kind in RSA, and further announcements will follow as the initiative reaches implementation stage,” he added.

District learners educate in Air Quality

Since 2011 the Garden Route District Municipality’s District Air Quality Unit embarked on air quality awareness relating to clean fires, called the Garden Route Clean Fire Campaign. Ongoing projects were identified due to life-threatening air quality incidents in especially informal settlements, caused by fires used for household purposes, such as cooking and heating. Awareness sessions advanced whereby Peers are trained as educators to teach the community on proper fire making methods and the dangers of air pollution.

Recently, the awareness sessions further extended to a level whereby the Department of Education allowed the Air Quality Project to be incorporated into the curriculum of Grade 3 learners in the Garden Route. This approach ensures that the project reach all grade three learners, making a major impact in raising awareness about air quality.

Following a tender process for the development of study material and the actual roll-out and training of the Grade 3 teachers, the tender for three years was awarded to Mingcele Africa.

During the week of 13 to 17 May 2019, the roll-out of the Clean Fires Programme commenced in the Klein Karoo (Oudtshoorn and Kannaland) region, as this is a significant target group, since most of these communities use wood for heating purposes during the cold winter months.

Mingcele arranged with the Department Education to reach all Primary Schools in the Klein Karoo and Kannaland region. Schools in the following towns were reached: Oudtshoorn, De Rust, Dysselsdorp, Avontuur, Haarlem, Calitzdorp, Uniondale and Ladismith. A blended learning approach was followed.  Blended learning is the use of face-to-face interaction, physical resources, eLearning, eResources, collaboration (WhatsApp) and social media platforms. Thirty-seven (37) schools were individually visited, interacting with teachers took place and study material was handed over to seventy two (72) grade three teachers.   The schools form part of the Eden-Karoo Education District, circuit 5 and 6.

The curriculum of the programme covers the following aspects of Air Pollution, namely:

  • What is air pollution (grade 3 Curriculum and Assessment Policy)
  • Types of pollutions (grade 3 Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements)
  • Air pollution and my family
  • Pollution and the environment
  • Pollution and people

Teachers received the Garden Route District Municipality Grade 3 Pollution Pack, as well as a face-to-face overview of the Programme and the eLearning platform by the Mingcele Africa team. The final steps of the programme will include:

  • WhatsApp week for the next two months until pollution implementation starts according to CAPS.
  • eCourse enrolment by grade three teachers.
  • Completion of eCourse by grade three teachers.
  • Receiving of Pollution Course certificate.

This is a unique programme and known to be the first of its kind for raising air pollution awareness in South Africa. By reaching 72 Grade 3 educators with an average classroom of 35 learners which mean 2520 learners are reached. The learners on the other hand will educate their respective families as part of the programme, with a cumulative effect to reach at least 12 600 community members.

As part of the programme, teachers have to submit a portfolio of evidence, ensuring that there is control over the project and constant evaluation of the successful completion of the Clean Fire pollution programme. The programme is also enrolled as a continuous Development Activity (CPD) for teachers and they will receive CPD credits for the project. In the months to come, the programme will be further rolled out to ultimately reach all schools in the Garden Route district.

 

 

 

 

 

Bergsig Primary School

Bongulethu Primary School

Uniondale High School

Public Notice: Draft Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan for the 2019/2020 Financial year is open for public comment

Public Notice: Draft Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plan for the 2019/2020 Financial Year is open for public comment.

Browse to this link to access the document.

Closing date for comments is 24 June 2019.

All comments must be forwarded to:

GRDM Performance Manager, Ms Ilse Saaiman at:
E-mail: performance@gardenroute.gov.za and info@gardenroute.gov.za
Reception: 044 803 1300

Public Notice: Draft Performance Agreements for 2019/2020 Financial Year accessible

Public Notice: Draft Performance Agreements for 2019/2020 Financial Year are accessible to the public.

DOCUMENTS FOR PUBLIC PERUSAL

The following Draft Performance Agreements are available for public perusal and due for signature by 31 July 2019.

  • Municipal Manager
  • Chief Financial Officer 2019-2020
  • Executive Manager: Corporate Services
  • Executive Manager: Community Services
  • Executive Manager: Planning and Economic Development
  • Executive Manager: Roads and Transport Planning Services

Browse to this link to access the documents.

For more information, please contact the GRDM Performance Manager, Ms Ilse Saaiman at:
E-mail: performance@gardenroute.gov.za
Reception: 044 803 1300

Premier’s Coordinating Forum currently taking place in George

The Western Cape Premier’s Coordinating Forum (PCF) with the theme “Maximising Citizen Impact” is currently underway at the George Civic Hall in George. The Western Cape Premier, Mr Alan Winde, Provincial Ministers of the Western Cape, Executive Mayors, as well as Municipal Managers are in attendance. This platform is the first PCF meeting to take place under the leadership of Premier Winde.

A full house of representatives attend the Premier’s Coordinating Forum in George.
FLTR: Premier Alan Winde, Mr Harry Malila, Acting Director-General of the Western Cape, Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, Mr Bonginkosi Madikizela and Cllr Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor of the Garden Route District Municipality, at the PCF that is currently underway in George.

The overall objective of the PCF is for political and administrative leadership to engage of matters of interest to the communities of the Western Cape:

  1. To promote and facilitate intergovernmental relations between the province and local governments in the Western Cape;
  2. To engage with the Premier on the vision and strategic priorities for the Province; and
  3. To discuss how the Provincial and Local Government and municipalities can work together to achieve a common vision and shared priorities to maximise citizen impact.

Garden Route schools guided to a Greener future

A pilot Primary School Recycling Programme has been launched at St. Paul’s Primary School in George today, 10 June 2019, by the Executive Mayor of Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Councillor Memory Booysen, in collaboration with the Waste Management Unit of GRDM and their recycling mascot known as ‘Rocky the Recycling Rooster’.

Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, with Principal Calvert, teachers, learners and municipal employees at the end of the pilot Recycling Launch.

During the welcoming and opening of the programme, Principal Baron Calvert said: “Part of my teaching background is in the field of Environmental Science and I therefore understand the importance of the programme and welcome the Municipality’s project at our school. We are privileged to be the first primary school in the Garden Route to be identified to pilot this project.” Mr Calvert was appointed on 1 April 2019 as Principal of St. Paul’s Primary School and brings with him a wealth of experience and a passion for behaviour change.

‘Rocky the Recycling Rooster’ was introduced by Mr Johan Gie, Waste Management Officer at GRDM.

Through this Programme, learners will be more likely to carry recycling habits into their adult years, while sharing it with family and friends. They will also be able to become more aware of how their personal actions can affect the future of the environment.

Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, with Principal Calvert, teachers, learners and municipal employees at the end of the pilot Recycling Launch.

Executive Mayor, Cllr Memory Booysen, urged learners to stop littering. He said the school would be able to make an income from recycling, if done effectively. “Recycling companies pay for recyclables and this should also be seen as an opportunity for the school to create an additional income stream.”

‘Rocky the Recycling Rooster’ was one of the highlights at the launch of the pilot Recycling Project which was rolled out by GRDM at St. Paul’s Primary School in George.

“From today, this school will have to set an example to other schools by being the cleanest. When we come back here to see how well you have implemented the project, we will award a prize to the learner who has demonstrated and committed to change his/her behaviour,” said Cllr Booysen.

St. Paul’s Primary School were provided with 25 cardboard recycling boxes to use in various classrooms, offices and copy rooms. The boxes are easily identifiable with clear signage indicating that they are meant for recycling. “If the project goes well, the district will also offer recycling bins made for outside use,” explained Cllr Booysen.

A similar pilot Programme was launched at Knysna’s Percy Mdala High School in May 2019 in which teachers and learners were introduced to the programme and the important impact recycling has on the environment.

TRAINING STAFF

It is essential to reach out to learners and teachers to inform them of recycling initiatives. An on-going education programme will inform all participants about their collaborative efforts to reduce the amount of waste produced, especially on what can and cannot be recycled.

COLLECTION

Schools often produce tremendous amount of waste with instructional materials, used electronics, and food. Collecting and separation of recyclables after a school has managed to play their role in the recycling cycle, is just as important. Local Municipalities will continue collecting all non-recyclable refuse from schools and the general public.

Carton boxes which will be used by learners for recycling purposes.

WASTE TYPES AT SCHOOL

The following types of recyclables are generally produced at schools, which include:

  • Paper;
  • Metal;
  • Plastic; and
  • Organic Waste.

WAYS TO RECYCLE AND REDUCE WASTE AT SCHOOL

  • Keep a cardboard recycling box in every classroom
  • Route memos electronically;
  • Reuse office and classroom supplies;
  • Hold recycling contests between classrooms or grades;
  • Use the front and back of copy paper for class assignments;
  • Encourage students to use recycled materials in their art projects;
  • Establish a recycling club that encourages recycling throughout the school.
  • Use old magazines for art projects;
  • Minimize the number of handouts used in classes;
  • Encourage the cafeteria to buy food in bulk which reduces paper and plastic waste;
  • Encourage students to bring their lunch from home in reusable containers; and
  • Encourage students to bring junk mail from home and place in recycle bins.
Rocky the Recycling Rooster and learners from St. Paul's Primary School in George
Rocky the Recycling Rooster’ requested a photo on his own with learners shortly after the pilot Recycling Programme was launched.

Samevatting in Afrikaans

‘n Herwinningsprojek is vandag, 10 Junie 2019, op proef-basis ingestel by St. Paul’s Primêr deur Garden Route Distriksmunisipaliteit (GRDM). Die projek is amptelik geloots deur Burgemeester Memory Booysen, die GRDM Afvalbestuurspan, in samewerking met ‘Rocky the Recycling Rooster”.

Die projek behels dat leerders gebruik maak van plastieksakke en kartonbokse om papier, metaal, plastiek en organiese materiaal/produkte te herwin.

Burgemeester Booysen het genoem: “Van vandag af moet julle ‘n voorbeeld stel vir ander skole in die streek. Wanneer ons julle weer besoek, beoog ons om ‘n prys aan die herwinnings-ambassadeur by julle skool te oorhandig.”

‘n Soortgelyke projek is in Mei-maand by Percy Mdala Hoërksool te Knysna geloots.

Die doel van die herwinningsprojek is om lig te werp op herwinningsgewoontes in skole en om gemeenskappe se denkwyse oor herwinning te verander.

Desiree Liberty entertains learners, leading a song called "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine"
Ms Desiree Liberty from the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Unit entertained learners with a well-known song to many, called: “This Little Light of Mine” by gospel singer and writer, Harry Dixon Loes. Behind her (fltr), are: Cllr Memory Booysen (GRDM Executive Mayor), Mr Richard Dyantyi (GRDM Manager: EPWP) and Principal Baron Calvert (St Paul’s Primary School)

Severe Weather Alert

A Severe Weather Alert was issued by the Cape Town Weather Office as follows:

Hazard:High Seas

Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 05/06/19 – 01h00
Valid To (SAST): 06/06/19 – 08h00

Wave heights of 6m are expected in places between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay today (Wednesday), subsiding tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

Description: Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.  Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.  Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured.  Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Flooding / Heavy Rain

Flooding occurs when water overflows its normal channels such as streams and storm water drains. It can occur with prolonged period of rain, with continuous heavy falls or in the form of flash floods which are usually associated with severe thunderstorms. Heavy rain may also result in river flooding causing damage downstream to areas that may receive no rainfall at all during the flooding event.

Precautions: Flooding / Heavy Rain

If possible stay indoors and off the roads, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles. If trapped in flooding in a vehicle, abandon it and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level. Switch off electricity at the supply point to the building. In rural areas protect/relocate animals to a safe place on higher ground. Abandon your home immediately if evacuation is recommended, before access is cut off by flood water. NEVER drive on a road covered by water. You do not know how deep it is or if the road has been washed away. If the vehicle stalls, leave it immediately and seek higher ground. Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Whenever there are prolonged periods of little and no rain coupled with warm dry winds, veldt or bush fires can easily be sparked and will spread rapidly in strong winds.

Precautions: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Don’t make fires in the open and/or leave fires unattended. Don’t throw cigarette butts out of cars or in the open veldt. Don’t throw bottles in the veldt as they can magnify the sun’s rays and start fires. Prepare and maintain fire breaks in controlled manner. In the case of a large fire report it immediately and move away from the area to let the professionals deal with it. Never throw water onto a fire started by an electrical fault or fires started by oil or paraffin lamps. In this case sand or a blanket should be used to smother the fire. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

Precautions: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.

Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.
Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.

If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Report any incidents to the Garden Route DM Disaster Management Centre at: 044-805 5071.

GRDM is taking proactive steps to deal with climate change

“As the Garden Route commemorates the June 2017 wildfire disaster and prepares to host a Climate Change Indaba, climate change related disasters are on the increase in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Dr Nina Viljoen, Manager: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).

“With thousands affected and the regional population traumatised, the June 2017 Knysna wildfire disaster was perhaps one of the most dramatic and destructive events in living memory to hit Southern Africa in general, and the Garden Route in particular.”

“To compound matters, back in June 2017, the Southern Cape was suffering the consequences of a prolonged and severe drought, with areas in the Klein Karoo completely running out of water with economic activity shrinking and agricultural output dropping dramatically.”

“Much of what the environment was suffering can be ascribed to the effects of climate change, and local government is increasingly shifting its focus and efforts towards finding ways to cope with the effects of climate change, ” says Dr Viljoen.  

“However, with the flooding of KwaZulu-Natal and Beira in northern Mozambique, South Africa is not alone in suffering from climate change”, continues Dr Viljoen. Recently United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has been urging the international community to quickly fund emergency aid appeals for Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, saying they have suffered “one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in the history of Africa.”

Guterres said the devastation has affected three million people, nearly two-thirds of them in Mozambique, and “there are reports that $1 billion worth of infrastructure has been destroyed.” Many areas still have no electricity.

The UN chief called Cyclone Idai an “uncommonly fierce and prolonged storm — yet another alarm bell about the dangers of climate change, especially in vulnerable, at-risk countries.”

He said such events are becoming more frequent and devastating, “and this will only get worse if we do not act now.”

Concludes Dr Viljoen, “In a proactive step to deal with climate change, the Garden Route District Municipality is making good progress in the development of the regional Climate Change and Adaptation Strategy Document, and in due course, we will be making more information available”.

The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) will be hosting the Annual Fire  Commemoration event and Climate Change Indaba on 7 June 2019. More information will be made available on the GREF website https://www.scli.org.za/GREF.

WEBSITE: https://www.scli.org.za/GREF/

** The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a regional forum for collaboration in conservation, environmental adaptation and community interaction. The forum aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Dr Nina Viljoen: Manager, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) and a spokesperson for the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)

Tel/Cell: +27 (0)44 803 1318 | +27 (0)67 035 9203

Email: nina@gardenroute.gov.za

 

Severe Weather Alert

A Severe Weather Alert was issued by the Cape Town Weather Office as follows:

Hazard: Damaging Winds

Alert Level: Warning
Valid From (SAST): 05/06/19 – 00h00
Valid To (SAST): 05/06/19 – 19h00

Warning: Gale force westerly to south-westerly winds (60-75km/h gusting 80-90km/h) are expected along the coastal regions between Cape Point and Plettenberg Bay tomorrow early morning (Wednesday), subsiding early evening.

Advisory: Strong westerly to north-westerly winds (50-65km/h) are expected over the Central Karoo and the Breede Valley (Western Cape) tomorrow early morning, subsiding by evening.

Description: Strong damaging winds
Strong damaging winds often occur along coastal regions, but also often occur during thunderstorm activity. These winds are sudden and can cause much damage.

Precautions:  Strong damaging winds
Stay indoors where possible away from the windows that open towards the severe winds. Be aware of the following: – sudden cross winds if traveling especially between buildings, fallen trees or power lines and flying debris.
Small boats must stay away from the open sea and seek the shelter of a harbour, river estuary or protected bay.
Parked aircraft should be pointed into the direction of the wind and secured.  Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Whenever there are prolonged periods of little and no rain coupled with warm dry winds, veldt or bush fires can easily be sparked and will spread rapidly in strong winds.

Precautions: Dangerous veld/bush fire conditions

Don’t make fires in the open and/or leave fires unattended. Don’t throw cigarette butts out of cars or in the open veldt. Don’t throw bottles in the veldt as they can magnify the sun’s rays and start fires. Prepare and maintain fire breaks in controlled manner. In the case of a large fire report it immediately and move away from the area to let the professionals deal with it. Never throw water onto a fire started by an electrical fault or fires started by oil or paraffin lamps. In this case, sand or a blanket should be used to smother the fire. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Description: Storm surges / High Seas

Generally heavy seas or damaging waves are a result of strong winds blowing over a large area called a fetch combined with low pressure systems. Long period swells are often very dangerous to tankers as they may literally snap them in half. Dangerous waves or surges may also be caused by storm surges and tsunami’s resulting in widespread coastal damage and loss of life.

In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with time, as the wind conditions or swell conditions change.

Precautions: Storm surges / High Seas

Ships should “idle” into the swell and wind so that the bow of the ship always faces the oncoming swell. If in a small sailing vessel reduce the sail area and steer into the oncoming swell. If along the shore-line stay well back from the highest high water mark as Secure all hatches, doors, windows and ports. Secure all loose items in the interior.

Pump the bilge’s dry and keep pumping them dry at regular intervals. Stow away all loose gear and lash down any large items that cannot be stowed. Break out your life preservers and inform your crew that everyone will be putting them on well in advance of their necessity.

Break out emergency gear like flares and first aid kit, sea anchor, safety harnesses, etc.
Check your position and update your course as plotted on your chart. Prepare alternative routes to more protected areas. If you think you will be in for relatively long haul prepare some hot soup, coffee or stew freak waves may run up beyond the normal high water mark.

If the sea recedes exposing rock and sea bed normally not exposed immediately seek higher ground at least 50m above your current position. Do not try swimming or fishing or other marine recreation during these events. Only extremely experienced surfers will temp their fate under these conditions.

Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

Report any incidents to the Garden Route DM Disaster Management Centre at: 044-805 5071