Water Quality Management
The CHDM is responsible for provisioning of quality water to all areas within its jurisdiction which should adhere to SANS: 241. The unit is responsible for taking water samples from the sampling points as designated by the Department of Water Affairs (DWA). Over the years the unit always advanced samples that are free from water related and water-washed diseases like cholera, typhoid, shigella dysentery etc. and people can consume water without any fears of being exposed to waterborne diseases.
We have forged links with the Department of Environmental Affairs towards assisting municipalities with waste management programmes such as recycling, street sweeping and landfill sites management, in order to comply with the new Waste Act which promotes recycling, reuse and recovery of waste so as to minimize the volumes of wastes to the landfill sites. These initiatives have been rolled out at Ngcobo, Sakhisizwe, Inxuba Yethemba, Emalahleni, Lukhanji and Intsika Yethu. They will also be extended to other LMs in the next financial year. Inroads are in place towards assisting municipalities to have their landfill sites permitted. Currently only Intsika Yethu Municipality has extended waste management services to indigent households and the rest of our municipalities will follow suit.
Environmental and Climate Change
The District Climate Change Summit held in 2011, recognised the need for all CHDM Directorates to mainstream Climate Change protocols in the delivery of services e.g. human settlement, water services, sanitation services, led programmes. The District has since committed itself to a sustainable development and protection of the environment for future generations. Together with the Department of Environmental Affairs, we are conducting natural resource rehabilitation projects and alien vegetation eradication through EPWP in order to mitigate these challenges. We have since established an Environment and Climate Change Forum to engage stakeholders on Environment and Climate Change issues. On the other hand, the Department continues to conduct environmental awareness and educational campaigns throughout the district in order to raise the levels of awareness around issues of greening and beautification. About 860 trees have been planted since May 2012 and the Department has committed itself to plant more in the coming years. All these efforts seek to reduce the impact of climate change in our communities and rather promote greener societies that shall enrich our environment. These initiatives saw Inkwanca Municipality winning the Provincial Greenest Municipality Award in November 2012. All LMs have prioritised environmental responsible behavioural patterns and make it their daily business. A draft District Wide Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy has been developed. This strategy will assist the district in dealing with issues of renewable energy (solar energy, bio-fuels, clean technologies, wind turbines) waste management (land fill sites) and other climate change programmes better than before. We pride ourselves of three crowns project and will be replicated in other villages and schools in future.
HIV AND AIDS and Anti-Poverty (PHAKAMA SAKHE)
HIV and AIDS keeps on being a serious threat to our developmental agenda in as far as socio economic conditions are concerned. CHDM Council has adopted an HIV,STI and TB Strategic Plan of (2012-2017), and this Department in collaboration with its stakeholders have been in full swing – implementing the programmes such as CONDOM WEEK, DISTRICT WORLD AIDS DAY, CANDLELIGHT MEMORIAL and so on, towards combating the scourge of HIV and AIDS in the District. These efforts gave rise to a decline of the prevalence rate among antenatal women by 0.6% in 2011 compared to the 2010 results of 29.5% and 30.1% respectively. The Know Your Epidemic and Know Your Status Campaign have also contributed to the decline in the HIV infections. The results further indicate that, our District has 28 700 people on Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART), of which 26 753 are adults and 1 947 are children. The highest positivity rates are from Ngcobo, Lukhanji and Sakhisizwe facilities with 12.2%; 9.7% and 8.6% respectively. Special attention will be given in these areas as we rollout 2013/2014 HIV and AIDS programmes wherein the youth will be our primary focus. We therefore call upon the youth of this District to apply brakes on HIV and AIDS by Abstaining, Being Faithfull to one partner and to Condomise if one is sexually active. Amongst these programmes is the element that the Council has decided to incorporate in order to address the social ills and that is Anti – Poverty or Phakama Sakhe initiatives. These initiatives have been piloted in the sites of Intsika Yethu at Hala Location and Ngcobo at Silindini Location. The Department together with the Sector Departments and other internal Departments have started addressing these challenges by employing 105 people as ground diggers on a two year contractual period. The Phakama Sakhe programme will be extended to all 112 wards of the District in the next financial year and shall be championed by the Ward Councillors. The success of these programmes has now placed the District AIDS Council (DAC) in being recognised as the best performing in the Province. This has resulted into a twinning arrangement with Umgungundlovu District Municipality wherein the two (2) Districts are now sharing best practices and we hope that this relationship will yield successful, meaningful and progressive results.
HIV in the Workplace
In March – April 2013 CHDM once again conducted an HIV Prevalence and Knowledge, Attitudes, Perceptions and Behaviour survey to determine whether there has been an increase or decrease in HIV prevalence since the baseline which was conducted in 2009 among Councillors and staff in general. The survey showed a decrease of HIV prevalence among Councillors and employees from 16% in 2009 to 7.6% in 2013. This is a remarkable improvement. The report also showed a decrease in the number of employees who reported fear of stigma and discrimination in the workplace from 99% in 2009 to 2.7% in 2013. We will continue our partnerships with LMs in implementing HIV and AIDS workplace programmes.
The primary focus of disaster management as set out in the Disaster Management Framework adopted by the Council is the prevention and mitigation of disastrous risks and hazards as they are likely to be found in our District given its geographical nature. In an effort to minimize these incidents, 33 awareness campaigns on risk reduction strategies such as snow rescuing, thunderstorm & lightning, tornadoes and so on, were conducted throughout the District. These initiatives are in line with the programmes of climate change and should be seen interchangeable. A Disaster Management Plan is about to be adopted by the Council and will assist the District together with LM’s in addressing the risks and hazards posed to us by the effects of climate change. We call upon all stakeholders to work with us as we drive these programmes so that together we reduce the impact and effect of these hazards.
The Municipal Structures Act clearly stipulates the role and responsibilities that the district shall provide in executing fire services. Such functions are:
Planning, co-ordination & regulating fire services; Specialised fire-fighting services such as maintain, veld and chemical fires; and Coordination of the standardisation of infrastructure, vehicles, equipment and procedures.
During this financial year, 387 structural fires throughout the district, 443 veld fires with 33 reported and recorded fire injuries. The District together with municipalities have since developed an awareness programme which seeks to educate the community on safety measures. The programme is progressing fairly well.