At a recent event in Eshowe, KwaZulu Natal, Chief Bloze from the local Fire Brigade Services expressed his appreciation for the FireWise Programme and the difference they’ve made in the lives of people and the community. He said that this partnership can only grow stronger with time and that his department was in full support of the aims, goals and objectives of the programme.
Furthermore, he said that the FireWise Programme not only protects the community from fires, but it also protects the environment and the natural resources.
Chief Bloze went on with a warning: “Climate change is becoming a global issue and individuals need to take responsibility for their actions. The objectives and work of the FireWise Programmes in teaching proper fire prevention methods for veld and livelihood protection, helps to negate the negative effects of climate change which will lead to long term sustainability. With global warming and greenhouse emissions threatening weather patterns, communities must take action and look after the way they interact with their environment, especially if your very means of existence is dependent on your natural surroundings.“
In Matsulu, Limpopo Province, the FireWise Team has adopted a grassroots approach to fire prevention education – they teach the community at a very young age. The team does a lot of fire awareness raising at schools and are easily recognised by the learners. The school awareness programmes became so popular that children are putting together their own plays on the dangers of unwanted fires. They act out the wrong way to deal with fires and the consequences of being careless with fire. They then showcase how fire can be beneficial if you take precautions around its use.
A very proud accomplishment for the Mparane FireWise Team in Queens Mercy was the bridge that they built for people to cross over a river safely.
As part of the work to be done out of fire season, they chose this project that will make the environment safer and create an easier path for communities to use, especially in the case of an evacuation. During the rainy season, this river gets flooded making it almost impossible for people and livestock to cross over safely and speedily. The team removed most of the overgrowth around the river, chose a good spot and cleared it for some pipes to be laid with rocks over it. The little bridge has become a feature point in the community and showcases the work the FireWise Team does with the little resources at their disposal.