South Africa: After every disaster in the Kouga region, there is always a lot of talk and urgent calls for action. In particular, veld fires have the potential to cause huge damage in the area and the need for a Fire Protection Association (FPA) is a necessity.
Who can forget the fires that burnt down houses in St Francis Bay or the massive fires that raced past Jeffreys Bay on the way to Thornhill a few years ago?
The time has now come to take responsibility and ensure we have a functional FPA and not one only in name says Elza Van Lingen of the DA. A meeting will be held in Humansdorp on 16 September at 10 am and all community associations are urged to attend. It will pay to plan to protect us against disasters.
Farmers and other land owners as well as residents may join a FPA as part of the co-operation between a municipality and the residents. Together a plan of action can be worked out that will minimize the danger of veld fires and to properly manage controlled burning of fields.
The National Veld and Forest Fire Act 101 of 1998 maked provision for a FPA that can back up the municipal fire department as well as provide input to regulate controlled burning and to mediate on disputes between neighbours.