Category: <span>Disaster Management</span>

5 May 2021 Weather Alert: Severe Weather Warnings – Disruptive Rain & Damaging Waves

5 May 2021 Weather Alert: Severe Weather Warnings – Disruptive Rain & Damaging Waves

The Cape Town Weather Office has issued the following weather warnings:

1) Level 1 – Damaging Waves
2) Level 3 – Disruptive Rain

Period Valid: 5 to 6 May 2021


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

END

7 April 2021 Media Release: Bitou Municipality initiates Kranshoek Pilot Project on Covid-19 Awareness

Media Release: Bitou Municipality initiates Kranshoek Pilot Project on Covid-19 Awareness

For Immediate Release
7 April 2020

Kranshoek Neighbourhood Watch team on their door-to-door awareness and education of Covid-19 virus.

The Multi-Disciplinary Team in the Bitou Local Municipal area, recently arranged a Pilot Project for the Kranshoek community. The Project aims to raise Covid-19 awareness by utilising the structures in place to reach residents within the local community and considers all Covid-19 Alert Level 1 Regulations, adjusted from 1 March 2021.

Disaster Management Officer at Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Lee-Ann Joubert, in conjunction with Sergeant Jansen from Kwano-South African Police Services (SAPS), steers this Pilot Project. The Plettenberg Bay, Kranshoek Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) teams represent the teams on the ground who will ensure that the intended audiences are informed. Kranshoek NHW team members were provided with training on the awareness of Covid-19. Following this, they were tasked to do door-to-door awareness, educating the community on the virus and how to stay safe. This project was put in place to stretch over a period of 31 days, with ongoing monitoring and weekly feedback from the NHW. After completion of the 31 days, the success of the project will be evaluated through another multi-disciplinary awareness campaign in the area. The statistics of the new Covid-19 cases within the community, from the beginning to the end of the project, will also be collated and compared to assist with determining its impacts.

All door-to-door visits will highlight the importance of sanitising hands, wearing face masks, reporting any symptoms to a clinic, what to do when someone tests positive for Covid-19, and the contact details of information centres, as well as all relevant stakeholders.

Role players including representatives from the SAPS, Garden Route District Disaster Management, Bitou Communications, the Western Cape Department of Health, Kranshoek NHW, Community in Blue, Plett-Hospice, the Ward Councillor and Ward Committee, Law Enforcement and Environmental Health Practitioners, all play an important role in the success of the project.

ENDS

14 March 2021 Weather Alert: Severe weather alert: Impact Based Weather Warnings for Western Cape and Namaqua (14-15 March 2021)

Weather Alert: Severe weather alert: Impact Based Weather Warnings for Western Cape and Namaqua (14-15 March 2021)

Please find included the Impact Based Warning for the Western Cape and Namaqua Region of Northern Cape

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.

It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and 
no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

Hazard Alert Level Affected Municipalities Valid from (SAST) Valid to (SAST)
Disruptive rain Yellow (L2) Bitou, Cape Agulhas, George, Hessequa, Knysna, Mossel Bay, Overstrand and Swellendam 14/03/2021 22H00 15/03/2021 09H00

Discussion: Significant rain is expected to affect the coastal areas of the Overberg and Garden Route Districts tonight into tomorrow morning.The accumulated rainfall is likely to reach between 40 to 50mm over the period due to the strong southerly to south-easterly winds aided by an intense upper air system.

Impact: Localised flooding can be expected in susceptible formal and informal settlements and roads. Increased travel times and motor vehicle accidents due to pooling of water may occur along with difficult driving conditions on dirt roads.

Instruction: If possible stay indoors and off the roads, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles. If trapped in a vehicle during a flood, abandon it and climb to higher ground. In buildings, move valuables to a safe place above the expected flood level. Take caution driving on a roads covered by water. Listen to the radio or TV for warnings and obey the instructions from disaster management officers.

>>>Legal notice:<<<

“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.

It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

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

12 March 2021 Weather Alert: Severe Weather Alert: Veld Fires

Weather Alert: Severe Weather Alert: Veld Fires

Please find included the Impact Based Warning for the Western Cape and Namaqua Region of Northern Cape:

HAZARD:  Veld Fire Conditions

ALERT LEVEL:  Red (L10)

AFFECTED MUNICIPALITIES: Beaufort West, Hantam, Kannaland, Karoo Hoogland, Khâi-Ma, Laingsburg, Oudtshoorn, Prince Albert

VALID FROM (SAST):  12/03/21 08h00

VALID TO (SAST):  12/03/21 08h00

DISCUSSION: Weather conditions which include hot temperatures and fresh winds might result in the development of runaway and veld/bush fires.

Impact: Conditions are such that the FDI index is above 75. Under these conditions fires may develop and spread rapidly resulting in damage to property and possible loss of human and/or animal life.

Instruction: All personnel and equipment should be removed from the field. Fire teams, labour and equipment are to be placed on full stand-by. A first sign of smoke, every possible measure should b*e taken in order to bring the fire under control in the shortest possible time.

SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE
Cape Town Weather Office
2nd Floor: Oval Office Park
Cape Town Int airport
Freight Road
Matroosfontein
Cape Town

E-Mail: factfc@weathersa.co.za
Tel: 021 935 5700

>>>Legal notice:<<<

“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.

It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

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

19 February 2021 Media Release: Garden Route DM and Local Municipalities form partnership with a NPO and the private sector, to provide food assistance to Garden Routers

Media Release: Garden Route DM and Local Municipalities form partnership with a NPO and the private sector, to provide food assistance to Garden Routers

For Immediate Release
19 February 2021

What started as a dream in the pursuit of eradicating hunger, has today come into fruition when the Garden Route Food Pantry (GRFP) was officially launched. This is a first of its kind where a District Municipality, Local Municipalities, the Private Sector and a Non-Profit Organisation, work together to alleviate hunger. Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), Local Municipalities and the GRFP and private businesses are therefore working hand-in-hand to ensure that food safety and security received the much needed attention.

‘Thumbs up to new beginnings’, three leaders committed to addressing food shortages in the region – GRDM Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen (left) ; Managing Director for the Food Pantry, Carl van Blerk (middle); and Human Settlements MEC Tertuis Simmers (right).

The official launch the Garden Route Food Pantry took placed today, 19 February 2021, at the head office of the GRFP in George by means of a one-hour programme and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. This historical occasion was attended by the Western Cape MEC for Human Settlements, Minister Tertuis Simmers, Executive Mayor of GRDM, Ald. Memory Booysen, Head of the Provincial Department of Human Settlements, Jacqueline Samson, Executive Mayors and Municipal Managers, as well as Councillors from the respective local municipalities in the district, sponsors, business owners, individuals, influencers and the media.

According to Carl van Blerk, Managing Director of the GRFP, the primary mandate of the food pantry is to source food from various local suppliers, manufacturers and farmers. Also, to be a centralised point where food security needs can be coordinated from, while at the same time also serving as a base where fortified products can be processed to fight malnutrition of communities. “This privately run facility does not belong to Government, but must be seen as an efficient facility that belongs to us all. This is why we all need to take ownership and work together to make this dream a reality – whether you are here as a representative of a municipality, a business, a service organisation, the media or just a concerned citizen wanting to make a difference. I am pleading with everyone to take hands, in order for us to approach this as a unified single unit,’’ said Van Blerk.

The GRDM Executive Mayor, Ald. Memory Booysen, during his address said that he was not only seeing what was happening at the food pantry but visualising the impact this type of partnership will have in the future. He thanked all municipalities for being present at the launch and emphasised that because of Covid-19 impact on society, the government can no longer operate in silos. Utilising the available systems and partnering with civil society is central in addressing the current repurchases of the pandemic. Mayor Booysen further envisions that this type of partnership will be duplicated in other parts of the Western Cape and South Africa as a whole.

To the farmers he said, we thank you and we salute you. He also said to the executive mayors, Councillors and taxpayers: “We need you! We want to use your money to feed everybody in this home, the Garden Route district”.

MEC Tertuis Simmers started his address with a quote by Henry Ford which eloquently summarised the occasion: “Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress; working together is success”. He commended the people of the Garden Route district and their innate desire to assist their neighbour. “Your contribution towards the establishment of this food pantry will ensure that many individuals and families can now be assisted with the nutritional meal they require,” Minister Simmers said.

The role of GRDM in this partnership will essentially be that of a strategic enabler with oversight responsibility. GRDM understands that nutrition and food scarcity is directly linked to food safety and security. Added to this, disaster management mitigation, and considering the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on unemployment and poverty, forms part of why we are doing this. The Garden Route Covid-19 Command Council proposed the establishing a food bank to address the critical needs of Garden Routers. Now, this proposal is a reality and GRDM will be able to oversee on a quarterly basis what change it brings to society.

One of the long-term goals of the GRFP is to establish a de-centralised facility in each town in the district. The managing director of the GRFP has already been approached by organisations in Mossel Bay and Hessequa who showed a keen interest in partnering and operating satellite branches. This shows the tremendous community spirit of individuals and businesses who are willing to play their part when the need arises to eradicate hunger.

Across the globe, there is a huge concern about the quality of food products provided to communities who struggle with nutrition. Therefore, the GRFP strives to address the nutritional value of meals. A malnourished child could be even more negatively impacted by food of low nutritional value, like for instance a lack of protein, vitamins and fiber in meals. For this reason, the GRFP reached out to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to develop a recipe that addresses the issue of food nutritional value. An agreement resulted in the Good4You Foods range to be developed, which was launched in December 2020. It included protein biscuits, also known as the super biscuits. When a child consumes one of these biscuits at the start of his or her day, the nutritional value consumed will add to the much needed energy required for a child to function optimally.

Transparency in humanitarian work is also of paramount importance. It is for this reason that all donations in and out of the food pantry will be recorded at its supply chain side. Records will be available for inspection to anybody interested, especially those who want to pledge their support, but who wants to first inspect details of how their donations will be used. A financial report will also be provided quarterly for inspection to municipalities and donors who have been supporting the GRFP. Ultimately the GRFP plans to make available all the data and reports on an online cloud-based system, where stakeholders can see exactly where the pantry distributes to. The public will furthermore be able to log onto this system.

The GRFP has four broad goals – firstly as a collection point for the sourcing of food-related goods; whether it is from a farmer, a factory, food distributor, supermarket or a generous citizen who wants to donate or seeking a place to donate any surplus or excess food stock. Once received, these items will be checked for safety and then processed into nutritional foods for distribution through a vetted network of distribution agencies. Some of the goods, especially fresh produce, will be prepared at the facility into soups, stews etc. These nutritional meals will then be delivered to a variety of feeding centres or soup kitchens across the whole Garden Route district.

The second area of service, will be to provide three day and seven-day food packs. These will be done as per orders received from Municipalities. Suppliers in each region will be approached to supply the required goods, thereby ensuring maintaining ongoing support of local industries and business.

The final goal of the GRFP is to look at the need for long-term sustainability by encouraging communities to start home-based fruit and vegetable gardens. This project has already kicked off with a number of champion gardeners. In order to be effective, the necessary training needs to be conducted after which regular monitoring and an incentive system is implemented. The incentive in the GRFP program is that community farmers can bring excess harvested goods to the pantry, and exchange for additional goods such as rice, tinned foods, etc.

HOW TO GET ACCESS TO FOOD?

There are different ways in place for people to access food. A person can work through an existing organisation such as a church, meals-on-wheels charity, faith-based networks or service organisations, which has a facility to receive food directly from the GRFP.

Alternatively, one can visit the GRFP website at www. echo.org.za, and click on a link titled ‘I NEED HELP’. The next step is for applicants to complete the online application form which in turn will direct applicants to an organisation where you will get food.
If a person runs a feeding centre in the Garden Route district and wishes to register with the GRFP for possible support, the link on the website needs to be followed to complete the application form.

If a person operates more than one location, a separate form will be required (for each venue). Applicants need to take note that registration does not guarantee approval, as an evaluation would need to be done and an inspection may be performed to verify details.

WHO WILL QUALIFY FOR ASSISTANCE?

In order for people to qualify for assistance, they need to be vetted. In this case, the food pantry will work closely with their distribution agents (churches, meals-on-wheels charities, faith-based networks or service organisations). These role players will ensure that a beneficiaries are not duplicated. The food party will also assist people who are willing to source food for themselves through gardening programmes.

The GRFP will also make use of a database with information to provide feedback to their supporters and sponsors, showcasing the number of people being fed in a particular area, identifying ‘red’ areas and bigger requirements, focusing their attention on organisations that support people in particular areas based on a criteria of need.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CURRENT SOUP KITCHENS AND GRFP

There are two basic soup kitchen structures that the GRFP will work with; those registered with the municipalities and those soup kitchens which are managed by a person at his or her house who feeds 20 children after school who are not registered, but doing a good job. Both places will be vetted.

Firstly, the need at these soup kitchens will be established. Interested parties can visit GRFP website at www. echo.org.za, and click on a link called REGISTER, and complete the application form in order to get assistance from the food pantry.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Business, individuals and the general public are encouraged to link up with the GRFP. This does not have to be by means of donating funds, but other activities too. Volunteers that pack and prepare meals is also required. There is currently a volunteer structure in the place where people can schedule their availability.

The public can become a friend of the pantry by donating R100 a month and have their name placed on a brick inside the Garden Route Food Pantry behind the reception desk.

A monthly contribution will ensure the financial stability of the pantry. It will see to it that more meals are provided to more people, especially while the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of hardship. Large businesses are also encouraged to consider partnering with the food pantry as a name partner in the fortified products – such as the protein biscuits or the newer range of fortified flavoured milk, porridges, and stew mix meals. Drive by food donation items can also be dropped-off whenever or when possible.

During the vote of thanks, Head of the Provincial Department for Human Settlements, Jacqueline Samson thanked Mayor Booysen and Mayors from the local municipalities, Municipal Managers, Councillors and GRDM officials, saying that the day would not have been possible without acknowledging their commitment and hard work. She furthermore thanked the Management and staff of the Garden Route Food Pantry and extended a special word of gratitude to the donors, sponsors, media, and in particularly Apostle Jan Horn for his words of encouragement. She concluded by saying that as Joseph in the bible preserves his dream and through his tenacity, he converted non-believers and gave new trust. She concluded by saying that she trust that this initiative will invite those no-believers to participate in this fantastic initiate to put food on the table of the community.

Captions:
Feature Image: Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor for GRDM and MEC for Human Settlements, Minister Simmers cuts a ribbon to signify the opening of the GRFP. 

ENDS

5 February 2021 Media Release: Garden Route Health Platform Update

5 February 2021

The Garden Route District has recorded a 35% decrease in active COVID-19 cases the last 7 days compared to 7 – 14 days ago.

The latest stats for 5 February 2021.

Sub-district Total Active Recovered Died
Hessequa 1 901 83 1 723 95
Mossel Bay 7 140 125 6 811 204
George 11 475 261 10 806 408
Knysna 4 721 63 4 501 157
Bitou 2 653 35 2 514 104
Kannaland 811 42 733 36
Oudtshoorn 3 771 150 3 391 230
TOTAL 32 472 759 30 479 1 234

Vaccine

The first of 1 995 vaccinators from all corners of the health system in the Western Cape have started with training towards administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

The training will equip them with adequate knowledge and skills to ensure safe and efficient COVID-19 vaccine administration. These vaccinators are the backbone of our vaccination programme and will be a major asset in ensuring that as many people as possible are reached within the shortest possible time, with safety and due process at the heart of the roll out.

The number of vaccinators that need to be trained is determined by the NDOH – one vaccinator can vaccinate between 40 to 50 people per day. It is estimated that 414 vaccinators are required for phase one. As the number of people needing to be vaccinated increases in phases 2 and 3, our number of vaccinators will also increase.

Healthcare workers have years of training, experience, and knowledge on administering vaccines. Therefore, the focus of this training will be on specific information related to the COVID-19 vaccine – including the handling, storage, research, product information, data management and reporting aspects of this vaccine.

Healthcare workers are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection and illness. That is why they have been prioritised to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it will be administered in the coming months. Information sessions will continue at health facilities to equip health workers with all the relevant information regarding the vaccine in order for them to make an informed choice.

“I will definitely take the vaccine, particularly because I’ve previously had COVID and I really don’t want to get it again. Also, both my parents are older than 60 years and are on chronic medication and therefore I  rather want to be safe than unnecessarily put their lives at risk”, said Allinda Van Blerk, Assistant Director: Support Services at George Hospital.

Professional Nurse, Asekhona Matinise from Kwanokuthula community day centre will also be getting a COVID-19 vaccine. “I need to protect myself”.

Sr Roslyn Broster is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Virus Testing Unit (VTU) at the George Hospital, and is a COVID-19 survivor herself. She says that she will definitely get the vaccine as she does not want to get sick with COVID again. Broster mentioned that at first she was a bit sceptical about the vaccine, but after speaking to a friend who is a health care worker in Canada who got immunized, aside from the usual flu, experienced no side effects. This has convinced her to also get the vaccine. “  As health care workers we have to do everything in our power to protect ourselves as there is still a long way to go”.

Feature photo: Sr Asekhona Matinise will get the vaccine to protect herself.

END

Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Town Clinic, Plettenberg Bay
Tel: 076 379 5423
Email: Nadia.Ferreira@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za

31 January 2021 Weather Alert: Severe Weather Alert – Veld Fire Conditions

Weather Alert: Severe Weather Alert – Veld Fire Conditions – 31 January 2021

Impact Based Warning for the Western Cape and Namaqua Region of Northern Cape

Legal notice:
“This warning from SA Weather Service must be communicated as received and may not be altered under any circumstance.
It must be forwarded or communicated in its entirety and no portion hereof may be replicated or copied and distributed.”

 Hazard Alert Level Affected Municipalities Valid From (SAST) Valid To (SAST)
 Veld Fire Conditions Red (L10) Beaufort West, Kannaland, Khâi-Ma, Laingsburg 31/01/21 08h00 31/01/21 20h00
 Discussion: Weather conditions which includes hot temperatures, fresh to strong winds and low humidity might result in the development of runaway and veld/bush fires.
 Impact: Conditions are such that the FDI index is above 75. Under these conditions fires may develop and spread rapidly resulting in damage to property and possible loss of human and/or animal life.
 Instruction: All personnel and equipment should be removed from the field. Fire teams, labour and equipment are to be placed on full stand-by. A first sign of smoke, every possible measure should be taken in order to bring the fire under control in the shortest possible time.

Media release: Garden Route Health platform update

25 January 2021

The Garden Route District has shown a 43% decline in new COVID-19 cases the past 7 days compared to 7-14 days previously as well as a decline in hospitalisations.

“We are optimistic about the decline in numbers but remain vigilant in order to contain any cluster outbreaks through responding as early as possible. We have to maintain our momentum of surveillance and monitoring as a Department but also rely on the community to keep up with the protective behaviours (wearing a mask at all times in public, avoiding crowded spaces, avoiding spaces with poor ventilation and maintaining social distancing) that has brought about the gains which we now see”, said District Director of Health Mr Zee Brickles.

Sub-district Total Active Recovered Died
Hessequa 1 806 239 1 483 84
Mossel Bay 7 041 347 6 498 196
George 11 322 549 10 400 373
Knysna 4 680 163 4 363 154
Bitou 2 624 119 2 402 103
Kannaland 768 109 631 28
Oudtshoorn 3 687 286 3 179 222
TOTAL 31 928 1 812 28 956 1 160

Increasing our protection through vaccination                                                           

It is estimated that 1 000 000 vaccines will be made available for all frontline workers in South Africa in January, including those in the public and private sector, care workers, community health workers, etc. A further 500 000 vaccines will be made available in South Africa in February.

The roll-out will be executed in a phased approach, with the first phase targeting healthcare workers. The second phase will target essential workers, people in congregate settings, persons older than 60 years, and persons older than 18 years with comorbidities. The third phase is envisioned to target people older than 18 years who has not been vaccinated during the first two phases.

Western Cape Government will play a stewardship role. Administration of these vaccines forms part of the vaccine roll-out strategy. The Department is working on this strategy, including the logistics thereof, with the input of private sector roleplayers. More engagements on the finer details of this plan will be made available once finalised. This is a massive operation that requires a multi-sectoral approach and the support of public, private and all parts of civil society.

END

Nadia Ferreira
Principal Communications Officer
Garden Route and Central Karoo Districts
Western Cape Government Health
Town Clinic, Plettenberg Bay
Tel: 076 379 5423

Email: Nadia.Ferreira@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za

20 November 2020 Weather Warnings for Western Cape and Namaqua

Impact Based Warning for the Western Cape and Namaqua Region of Northern Cape:

 Hazard Alert Level Affected Municipalities Valid From (SAST) Valid To (SAST)
 Veld Fire Conditions Red(L10) Beaufort West, Hantam, Kannaland, Karoo Hoogland, Khâi-Ma, Laingsburg, Oudtshoorn, Prince Albert 21/11/20 08h00 21/11/20 18h00

Discussion: Weather conditions which includes hot temperatures, fresh to strong winds and low humidity might result in the development of veld/bush fires.

Impact: Conditions are such that the FDI index is above 75. Under these conditions fires may develop and spread rapidly resulting in damage to property and possible loss of human and/or animal life.

Instruction: All personnel and equipment should be removed from the field. Fire teams, labour and equipment are to be placed on full stand-by. At first sign of smoke, every possible measure should be taken in order to bring the fire under control in the shortest possible time.