Workshop to address challenges affecting KZN disaster management

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Durban - A provincial disaster management workshop in KwaZulu-Natal is to help the province to address the challenges affecting disaster management.

During the past months, some parts of the province experienced floods and extensive damage to houses. Scores of people sustained injuries while others lost their lives as a result of the floods.

Speaking at the workshop on Thursday, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sibusiso Ndebele said the workshop aims to assist in ensuring a speedy response in the event of a disaster.

He said much needs to be done to improve on preparedness, vulnerability assessment, response, mitigation, recovery, rehabilitation and post-disaster development.

"We have challenges in the field of disaster management that are, unfortunately, made worse by the peculiar environmental conditions.

"Our challenge is coming up with innovative ideas, including tapping into indigenous knowledge systems, on how we can prevent and mitigate the impact of disasters."

He said much still need needs to done in establishing and perfecting disaster management capabilities.

The premier urged delegates attending the workshop to work together and come up with a co-coordinated approach to disaster management.

"We need to attract other role-players to contribute towards the province's efforts to bring relief to those affected by disasters.

"As government, we expect to see greater cooperation among government departments,

"We cannot manage disasters, successfully, without incorporating disaster management planning in our infrastructure development programmes," he said.