PRESENTATION TO THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE Progress report by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) on DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT. 14June 2013
Purpose of the presentation The purpose of the presentation is to update the Portfolio Committee on the following: Progress reports on Plans and Response Strategy for Disaster Management in the agricultural sector with regard to veld fires, migratory pests, drought andfloods.
Introduction The Directorate: Climate change and Disaster Management is responsible for the following mandate i.t.o Disaster Management Act (Act no57 of 2002): Provide a national policy framework for disaster risk management To implement an effective and efficient early warning system for agriculture To implement an effective climate change programme To coordinate an agricultural response in the event of natural disasters The Directorate is also responsible for administration of the management of migratory pests i.t.o the Agricultural Pests Act (Act no 36 of 1983)
Policy development and implementation Disaster Risk Management Plan – is an overarching plan for disaster management in the sector. A national workshop has been held to gather inputs and gazetted in 2012 for further public inputs. Three (3) provincial and one (1) national workshops will be organized from June – November 2013. Cold Spell Management Plan– The consultation with key external stakeholders in the sector has been completed through a national workshop.. The Plan is in the process of being finalised on the department system and be sent to the Minister for gazette.
InstitutionalArrangements 1. The following committees are functional: National Agro-meteorological Committee (NAC) - NAC assist DAFF with the implementation of the early warning system in support of disaster risk management. This committee is chaired by DAFF and constitutes South African Weather Service, Agricultural Research Council, Provincial Departments and Universities where necessary. National Agricultural Disaster Risk Management Committee (NADRMCO) – a strategic committee aimed at advising the Minister of DAFF on strategic and policy related to disaster risk management in the sector. Participants include: SMS members from DAFF (Chairperson), SMS members from PDAs, Organised Agriculture, and NDMC. A meeting was held on the 12th March 2013.
Institutional Arrangements National Drought Task Team (NDTT) – a technical committee advising on drought issues in the country. The committee is chaired by DAFF (secretariat) and participants include: PDA’s, NDMC, Organised agriculture, Departments of Social Development, Rural Development and Land Reform, and Water Affairs. The NDTT meeting was held on the 24th January 2013. 2. The Directorate also participates in the following forums: National Disaster Management Advisory Forum - Advises the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) on disaster management issues. DAFF participates as a sector to report on disaster management issues in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. A meeting was held on February and 09 May 2013.
Institutional Support World Platform on Disaster Reduction – a world conference where disaster risk reduction issues are discussed. Countries participate and report annually on risk reduction initiatives to make a contribution to risk reduction.TheDirectorate participated from 19-24th May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.
DisasterResponse and Management Mitigation and Prevention • DAFF is administers a disaster risk mitigation and prevention fund through MTEF period. • This fund implementing programmes and projects aimed at prevention and mitigation of disaster risks i.e. drilling of boreholes, construction of firebreaks, creating awareness in the farming communities as well as conducting research in disaster risk management amongst others. • Research • Other activities include research to identify areas and measures in addressing disaster risk management in the sector.
DisasterResponse and Management Early Warning System • One of the risk reduction tools implemented by DAFF is an Early Warning System whereby monthly advisories and daily extreme weather warnings are disseminated to the farming community for proper response. DAFF follows the advisories in the provinces to clear the challenges posed by the dissemination channels. • DAFF further utilises media to disseminate the early warning information in the provinces. Awareness and Capacity Building • DAFF embarks on awareness campaigns on disaster risk management in the provinces for officials and farmers. The capacity buildings further address the understanding, interpretation and usage of weather and climate to agriculture for disaster risk reduction.
Disaster Response and Management The frequent hazards that the sector is managing and responding to include droughts, veld fires, floods and outbreak of pests and diseases. Drought South Africa is subjected to recurring droughts of varying spatial and temporal dimensions. Unlike other hazards/disasters, drought is complicated as it develops slowly and has a prolonged existence, sometimes over several years. It is a regular feature of the weather pattern of the country. The sector developed the Drought Management Planto address drought risks and management in the sector. Consultation has been completed, gazetted and is to be presented to MINTECH and MINMEC. The document on drought coping strategies has been developed in line with the Drought Management Plan and published in all official languages.
Disaster Response and Management Current conditions: • Most of the central provinces as well as KwaZulu Natal received below normal rainfall for 2012 winter rainfall season and 2012/13 summer rainfall season resulting in dry conditions in the northern parts of KwaZulu Natal, north-western parts of Free State, south-western parts of Limpopo, most parts of North West and south-western parts of Gauteng. • North West Province made funds available to assist some of the affected farmers with livestock feed. Rapid drought assessments were also undertaken by DAFF and a meeting was further held with the PDMC and NDMC regarding drought declaration and classification. • Reports on dry conditions are also being reported in Northern Cape and Free State. DAFF is monitoring the conditions
Disaster Response and Management The affected provinces have been advised to submit reports to relevant Disaster Management Centers for classification and declaration of the occurrence. Veld Fires Veld fires are experienced mostly in Free State, North West, Northern Cape and Western Cape Provinces. Northern Cape experienced severe veld fires between October and November 2012, most damages were on grazing veld whereby DAFF made available funding to assist the affected farmers with livestock feed. Arson cases have been suspected in some provinces and investigations are being conducted by South African Police Service for those cases. Veld Fire Management Plan – the plan is aimed at addressing veld fires within the sector. A draft document has been compiled and consultation underway within the Department.
Disaster Response and Management Floods Flood Management Plan – has been developed to address flood risks and management in the sector. The Plan is to be presented to DAFF management before gazette which will be followed by the consultation processes. The sector further developed the document on coping strategies for floods in line with the Flood Management Plan which is in the process of being published into all official languages.
Response - The 2011 Flood Assistance Scheme Implementation of the 2011 Flood Assistance Scheme by provinces is currently underway in Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Free State, North West, Northern Cape and Gauteng for the floods that occurred between December 2010 and February 2011. The 2013/14 Allocations
Response – Floods in WC, Limpopo and Mpumalanga Verification of flood damages has been completed by the NDMC for the 2011 floods in Western Cape, 2012 floods in Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Funding request has been submitted to National Treasury and the indication by National Treasury is that allocations from the contingency reserve will be made later in the year.
Disaster Response and Management Migratory Pests Control DAFF is responsible for the control of migratory pests namely locust and quelea in terms of Agricultural Pests Act, 1983 (Act No. 36 of 1983). Locust feeds on veld and crops and quelea feeds on small grain crops such as wheat and sorghum. DAFF is also responsible for the control of blackfly pest even though it is not yet listed in the Agricultural Pests Act due to its devastating effect to livestock farming. On the 22nd of February 2013, DAFF’s DEXCO undertook a decision that the Department would assist the farmers with the control of Army Worm outbreak.
Disaster Response and Management Locust outbreaks mainly occur in Northern Cape Province and in some parts of Eastern Cape, Free State, North West and Western Cape Provinces. Quelea outbreaks occur throughout the country where small grain crops are produced. Blackfly outbreaks occur in Bree River in Western Cape, Fish, Gamtoos and Sunday Rivers in Eastern Cape and Orange River in Northern Cape. • Army worm outbreaks in South Africa occur throughout the country once in almost every ten years in small outbreaks and farmers used to control it on their own at their own costs .
Disaster Response and Management Migratory Pests Control Operations for 2012/2013 financial year Army Worm Outbreak Control • Army Worm outbreak was controlled in Eastern Cape, Free State and North West Provinces on 134334 hectares of the veld at the control costs of R 1 310 200. Locust Outbreak Control • Locust outbreak was controlled on 149 farms in the Northern Cape Province. • 33 locust control contractors were activated to control the outbreak. • 1054 hopper bands, and 1339 adult swarms were controlled at the costs of R 4 871 359.
Disaster Response and Management Quelea Outbreak Control • 119 quelea outbreak was controlled in Free State, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces. • 47.270 Million quelea were controlled on 552.4 hectares of the roosts at the control costs of R 3 566 387. Blackfly Outbreak Control • Weekly blackfly larvae monitoring was done in Bree, Fish, Gamtoos, Sundays and Orange Rivers. • 5 blackfly larvae control operations were done at the control costs of R 4 217 788.
Challenges and Actions Challenge - Prioritization of disaster relief schemes versus risk reduction initiatives. Action - awareness campaigns and education and training to change the mindset of the past in prioritizing post disaster response and recovery phase. Challenge - Lack of capacity in disaster risk management at all levels. Action – Correspondences are regularly sent to HoDs by DG to indicate areas of concern including capacity constraints. Action - Feasibility study - DAFF is currently rolling out a study on Disaster Risk Management Operations within the sector; the study will also investigate institutional arrangements and capacity within the spheres of government.
Challenges and Actions Challenge - Frequency of natural hazards. Action -emphasis on research and adaptation and encourage insurance on insurable commodities. Challenge - Monitoring of locust outbreak control contractors during control campaign. Action - Provinces to assist DAFF in monitoring the locust outbreak control campaigns. Challenge - Inability of the farmers to locate the breeding and roosting sites of the reported quelea outbreaks. Action - Provincial Extension Officers to assist the farmers to locate the breeding and roosting sites of the quelea outbreaks.
Conclusion DAFF is currently implementing the prevention and mitigation of disaster risks fund over the MTEF period as a long-term measure in disaster risk management. Research indicates that many response measures and interventions especially on post disaster relief instituted by government, international organizations, agencies and donors, have actually increased vulnerability by fostering and increasing dependency on internal or external assistance. Hence the priority for Disaster Management Act (57 of 2002) is on disaster risk reduction particularly through strengthening of early warning systems and dissemination of early warning as well as awareness campaigns to build resilient farming communities.