OUR vision of having a fully-fledged Ugu Disaster Management Centre (UDMC) to service local municipalities and have a bigger impact in the management of disasters in the district is within reach.We have commenced with the second phase of this multimillion-rand project and have injected R12 000 000 for the construction of three fire tenders, accommodation (stand-by quarters), ablution facilities, gym area, equipment storage, 12 lock-up storage cubicles and external works, including driveways and parking.The construction of the disaster hub followed a decision by the KZN Department of Corporative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) as the custodian of disaster management in KwaZulu-Natal, to fulfil its legislative and policy mandate through the allocation of a budget to enhance district disaster management centres in the province. The municipality also sought assistance from Cogta to build a self-sufficient disaster centre after the district had fallen victim to the 2008 floods that left some parts of Ugu district in ruins.Since the official opening of this disaster facility in November 2015, we have responded to numerous disasters in the district and it became evident that the UDMC was a necessity for the district. We have offered relief to communities affected by disasters, including temporary housing, food parcels, gel stoves and blankets, among others. Over and above our disaster responses, we have provided our local municipalities with fire equipment such as personal protective equipment, hydrant keys and fire hoses.We are also proud to announce that our municipality continues to implement projects that work towards addressing the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. This project has created 35 temporary jobs, comprising 27 males, eight females and 19 youths.