Your city needs you: Cape Town signs up Day Zero army

10 February 2018 - 16:14 By Dave Chambers
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith says the volunteer plan aims to spread the water conservation message and to prepare for the rollout of water collection points.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith says the volunteer plan aims to spread the water conservation message and to prepare for the rollout of water collection points.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

Cape Town is recruiting an army of volunteers in preparation for Day Zero.

They are needed to help run water collection points and to make sure communities are prepared for Day Zero and kept informed.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said on Saturday that mass information sessions were under way with neighbourhood watches‚ community organisations and religious groups.

“[They] are part of the city’s ongoing efforts to mobilise the whole of society to help us survive the greatest crisis this city has every faced‚” he said.

Day Zero has been pushed out to mid-May‚ but we still have to prepare meticulously for the worst. Our efforts will not be wasted‚ even if Day Zero is avoided

“Day Zero has been pushed out to mid-May‚ but we still have to prepare meticulously for the worst. Our efforts will not be wasted‚ even if Day Zero is avoided.

“It builds resilience and responsiveness in the face of any kind of threat in the future.”

Smith said the volunteer plan aimed to spread the water conservation message and to prepare for the rollout of water collection points.

“This will be a mammoth undertaking and we will need as many hands on deck as possible‚ ensuring that it is done in a manner that is well coordinated and everyone knowing what is expected of them.”

Community organisations were being asked to assist with education and awareness; identifying the most vulnerable people in communities; sharing information and links; and make local contingency plans.

The disaster risk management centre was recruiting volunteers who could assist at water collection points and care for the most vulnerable.

Their duties would include:

• Helping to set up water collection points and dispensing water;

• Cleaning/disinfecting water dispenser pipes;

• Marshalling queues and assisting vulnerable individuals and groups; and

• Assisting council officials with logistical arrangements.

Organisations who want to volunteer can obtain a registration form by emailing dayzero.neighbourhoodwatch@capetown.gov.za. Smith said individual volunteers should make themselves available through community organisations.

“It will be extremely difficult to manage volunteers directly so we are aiming to work through their clubs and organisations and formal volunteer bodies (like reservists)‚” he said.


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