Committee to keep communities safe

2019-01-31 06:21
At the establishment of the Risk Reduction Committee for the greater St Francis area were (front) Liezl Clause(DVG), Annelise Rossouw (Kouga Fire), Jeane Madatt (Kouga Waste and Environmental Management), Khaya Duna (Sarah Baartman Disaster Management satellite office), Richard Cowling (Foster), (back) Henrico van Rooyen (Kouga Fire), Christo Herselman (Sarah Baartman West Fire Protection Association), Dewald Barnard (Kouga Fire), Trevor Wright (resident), James Mzangwa (Kouga Fire) and Marlin Sodien (Kouga Fire).                             Photo:SUPPLIED

At the establishment of the Risk Reduction Committee for the greater St Francis area were (front) Liezl Clause(DVG), Annelise Rossouw (Kouga Fire), Jeane Madatt (Kouga Waste and Environmental Management), Khaya Duna (Sarah Baartman Disaster Management satellite office), Richard Cowling (Foster), (back) Henrico van Rooyen (Kouga Fire), Christo Herselman (Sarah Baartman West Fire Protection Association), Dewald Barnard (Kouga Fire), Trevor Wright (resident), James Mzangwa (Kouga Fire) and Marlin Sodien (Kouga Fire). Photo:SUPPLIED

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A new committee has been established to strengthen fire prevention initiatives in the greater St Francis area.

Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson said the aim of the new Risk Reduction Committee was to bring together roleplayers to identify and roll out fire mitigation measures.

“The municipality will be establishing similar committees across the region, with those areas deemed most at risk being prioritised,” he said.

“St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis have seen some devastating fires over the years, be they in formal residential or informal areas, hence the decision to establish the first committee there.”

The committee includes representatives from Kouga’s Fire and Disaster Management department, the municipal Waste and Environmental Management section, the Sarah Baartman District Municipality’s Disaster Management satellite office and the Sarah Baartman West Fire Protection Association.

Other members include local organisations such as the St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group (DVG) and Friends of St Francis Nature Areas (Foster).

Benson said one of the focal points would be bush clearing, especially of alien vegetation, to help reduce the amount of “fuel” for fires.

“Both the municipality and home-owners have a role to play. The St Francis community has always been actively involved in looking after their area and is known for showing incredible solidarity during times of disaster.

“We look forward to working with them and other roleplayers to strengthen communities against fire threats.”

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