911 Fund: Cogta saddened by death of U.S. official

2013-04-15 00:00

THE Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said it was saddened by the death of Dr Stephan Hittmann of the U.S.’s Disaster Management 911 Fund.

Hittmann died on April 7.

Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube said Hittmann’s passing has left a void in the pioneering American disaster awareness movement, but also, “we in disaster-prone KwaZulu-Natal province will sorely miss his expertise and experience”.

The 911 Fund was established by President Barack Obama in the wake of one of the most devastating disasters in modern history, the aerial attack on the landmark twin towers in New York in 2001.

KZN was sponsored with resources like fire trucks, fire equipment and first line response items to the value of R22 million from the fund.

“Dr Hittmann visited the province and provided new hope and inspiration for our officials to prepare themselves for a state of readiness to tackle natural disasters and particularly inclement weather conditions and to reduce loss of human lives,” said Dube.

Dube is a newly appointed member of the international advisory board of the 911 Fund.

She said Hittmann was truly committed to addressing disaster issues, not only in the U.S., but across the globe as well.

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