|Weather awareness outreach reaches Emfuleni communities|
|Thursday, 10 May 2012 13:08|
Emfuleni Local Municipality in partnership with the department of Environmental Affairs and the South African Weather Services hosted an outreach programme on weather services at Evaton Fire Station on 14 March 2012.
The aim of the outreach programme is to teach communities on the devastation caused by bad weather, what communities need to do under the said climatic conditions, what causes these bad weather and temperatures.
Among the dignitaries that graced the event was the deputy minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, Emfuleni's Executive Mayor, Clr. Greta Hlongwane, CEO of South African Weather Services, Dr. Linda Makuleni, General Manager of SWAS, Mr. Mnikeli ndabambi and the programme director was the council speaker, Clr. Msebenzi Gqelosha.
Community members came in large numbers eager to learn more about the weather services. The minister emphasized the role that indigenous knowledge plays in managing disasters. She appreciated the knowledge that the forefather taught many communities.
“We should not stand under the trees when there is lightning, stay away from shiny objects as these objects attracts it and may end up killing you” warned minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi. “This information does not require experts but it is simply there for us to tap into” she explained.
The minister emphasised that it is important that the municipality should have a working disaster management plan in case of a disaster, and communities must empower themselves with adequate information in relation to the environment that they live in. South African weather services made valuable informative presentation through the popular Mr. Ndabambi, which left the community in amazement.
Mr Ndabambi explained that “when the weather forecast says there is 60% rain expected in Sebokeng, it has nothing to do with the quantity of the rain to be received, but it shows or informs the viewers or listeners about the probability or chances of rain in that particular area”. This means that the weather services cannot predict the amount of rain to be received but shows only the chances of receiving it.
He went further to talk about the Early Warning System that is in place and meant to warn people or residents beforehand so as to avert disasters. This system has what is called the informative sign, the watch, the warning and caution which are communicated as weather is predicted.
This outreach was to be extended to Duduza in Nigel, Mout Frere in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal Midlands because these areas are prone to such disasters.
By Stanley Gaba
|Last Updated on Thursday, 31 May 2012 07:26|