A created catastrophe

2018-06-21 06:00

Of recent, water security in the Ugu District has been transformed from a simple irritation to a disaster, and now, a catastrophe.

The irreconcilable fact is the occurrence of this phenomenon in a region that is well endowed with the resource.

Discernibly, it is our failure to provide an alternative emergency supply that exposes our vulnerability during such times and this leaves government haplessly embarrassed.

The reality is that every attempt to keep the water flowing was frustrated by crafted criminal attempts to sabotage the system.

This was aggravated when private contractors and volunteers were threatened wherever they rendered assistance. Our society needs to purge itself of acts of banditry and wanton destruction.

Sadly, this group was doggedly determined to create maximum impact.

Their preparedness to allow the sick, the aged, infants and the vulnerable to perish reveals a new brand of individual and group behaviour which has become unique to the Ugu region.

It is poignant that Premier Willis Mchunu was at pains to state that, even during revolutionary times, soldiers were trained never to interfere with community water systems. This says a lot about the ideological strains of those involved.

We must reflect on this catastrophe as a “kairos” moment from which lessons could be learned.

Particularly, there is a critical need for an emergency reaction unit that must be independent of our fragile provisions.

To this end, we need to create networks with community, ratepayers, ward committees, religious institutions, businesses and farming associations and, particularly, large industries because they have proven their ability to deliver.

More specifically, we need to identify reserves of resources that are accessible during periods of disaster.

Notwithstanding the hardship suffered, this episode did provide opportunity for the best of humanity to blossom.

It would be remiss if we fail to acknowledge the exceptional work done by individuals, business associations, religious organisations, media, councillors and the unfailing efforts of that great organisation “Gift of the Givers”.

Their collective efforts must inspire everyone to get involved in order to reduce the extent of any disaster.

In the meanwhile, we will live in the hope of the district eliminating its chronic malady and managing itself to provide sustained services that communities expect.



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