“Let’s tackle disasters together”, these were words by the Matsapha Vice Chairperson, Councillor Stephen Khumalo whom was standing in for Matsapha Chairperson, Councillor Alice Russo during a Matsapha Disaster Management Plan Stakeholder Engagement meeting. The meeting was held at Esibayeni Lodge on 10th September 2020 and is a collaboration between Matsapha Town Council (MTC) and National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA).
The meeting’s agenda was set to generate future plans to uncertain disastrous situations such as explosions, earthquakes, viruses etc. that could possible happen in Matsapha or the country at large. It is of great importance that Matsapha should be readily prepared for any disaster that may befall the Industrial Hub as it is consider a high-risk location as determined by the nature of some businesses. “In the midst of such calamities, we as Matsapha have to be prepared in advance so that these situations don’t take us by surprise,” noted Councillor Khumalo.
This is the third participatory meeting, where stakeholders are provided a platform to share inputs that will influence the development of the Disaster Management Plan. The first two meetings focused on the development of a Risk Assessment Report. The meeting was attended by a number of Matsapha stakeholders who came in their numbers as invited and these include Matsapha Councillors, National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Eswatini Defense Officers, Eswatini Civil Aviation Authority (ESWACAA), Eswatini National Fire and Emergency Services and the Royal Eswatini Police Services (REPS) to name a few.
Mr Andre Fourie, from SRK Consultancy responsible for drafting the plan, presented and advised present stakeholders that, for the Disaster Management Plan to work, it needs a structure of advisors and coordinators that will commit to seeing the future plans through. Just like any other plan, Mr Fourie highlighted the need for all stakeholders to fully understand the document. “The Disaster plan is like a plan of building a house. This means it will have certain stages that need commitment and the ability to maintain it,” Mr Fourie added.
The strategic document that is being drafted is for Matsapha, there is a level of commitment that is required from all stakeholders. Council encourages that commitment by stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of our developing town.
PLANT A TREE AND SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT
Over the years the natural environment has evolved so much as human civilization continues to demand for more development activities. Much distress has been caused to our green earth and something needs to be done.
Step towards the right direction would be to restore the green of our earth. Millions of trees have been cut to clear for development. It is time that we look towards restoring the trees. Let us task ourselves, “Plant a Tree and Save the Environment”.