During the last decade the frequency and impact of natural disasters in the farming community in South Africa have increased significantly. The main function of the sub programme: Agricultural Disaster Risk Management is to protect the natural resources of the Western Cape with the aim of achieving resource-saving agricultural production with acceptable profits, and high and sustained production levels while conserving the environment.
Floods, droughts and fires are all associated with an abundance or lack of water. The Western Cape Province is a semi-arid region where a lack of sufficient water is the most significant resource constraint on development. The sub-programme: Agricultural Disaster Risk Management aims to lessen the impact of natural hazards and related risks through an integrated and coordinated manner.
The sub-programme renders a number of programmes and services, including:
- INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITYThe sub-programme aims to prevent and limit resource loss by compiling frameworks and plans to direct disaster risk management away from a reactive function to a proactive function within the broader framework of the National Development Plan (NDP). The NDP highlights improving disaster preparedness for extreme climate events by calling for increased investment in new agricultural technologies, research and the development of adaptation strategies for the protection of rural livelihoods and expansion of commercial agriculture.
- DISASTER RISK REDUCTIONThe sub-programme aims to promote the implementation of disaster risk reduction measures and conservation of agricultural resources as required by the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (Act No. 43 of 1983) and other natural resources legislation.
- DECLARATION OF A DISASTERThe sub-programme collaborates closely with Western Cape Disaster Management (WCDM) in declaring local and/or provincial disasters. A submission is forwarded to the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) to classify the events as a provincial disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002). The sub-programme further corresponds to local vulnerabilities by aiming to enable farming communities to access disaster relief funding schemes, by assisting professional service providers (PSPs) in the verification of damage assessments and ownership of farms.
- DISASTER RESPONSE: REHABILITATION AND RECONSTRUCTIONThe declaration of a disaster typically leads to the establishment of a disaster relief funding scheme. The sub-programme facilitates the planning and response efforts of allocated disaster relief funding schemes, including the administration of financial relief pay-outs in real time. Where possible appropriate common or mutually supportive projects or programmes are created e.g. the sub-programmes Disaster Risk Management and LandCare both concentrate on resource conservation. The sub-programme: LandCare supports Disaster Risk Management in e.g. prioritising and managing the construction of river protection works (gabions, groynes and weirs). The construction work is monitored throughout the building phase, and upon completion.
The sub-programme manages the scheme funds in accordance with the relevant prescripts to ensure that all irregularities, corruption and mismanagement of the scheme are completely prevented where possible.