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Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin during a news conference with Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 13 2022
One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies warned Nato on Thursday that if Sweden and Finland joined the US-led military alliance then Russia would deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles in an exclave in the heart of Europe.
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With nearly 400 people declared dead in KwaZulu-Natal during the recent floods, the SA Local Government Association (Salga) has called for climate-resilient infrastructure and the strengthening of the disaster risk management function.
In a statement, Salga president Bheke Stofile expressed his condolences to families that lost loved ones but also reiterated the importance of climate-resilient infrastructure and planning and identifying environmentally sensitive areas that need to be protected and preserved.“This will be crucial in ensuring that communities are not settled in these ecosystems that would often result in loss of life and livelihoods due to floods, mudslides and other forms of environmental degradation,” Stofile said.
He said the destruction of the KwaZulu-Natal road infrastructure also serves as a wake-up call for the country to rethink how it plans and builds roads.“It is becoming clear that the storms are no longer just a problem of low-lying areas close to the rivers, stormwater drainage systems, wetlands and rivers can no longer handle heavy downpours,” he said.
Stofile added while disasters cannot always be prevented, global warming and associated climate change are projected to cause severe weather patterns that will become a regular occurrence in the country. This should marshal all levels of government and partners to act decisively in averting the devastating effects of climate change.
He said it is important that municipalities be supported to improve the disaster risk management function and focus heavily on risk reduction and prevention efforts.Stofile said Salga conducted a study in 2021 to determine the ability of municipalities — across all municipal categories — to perform functions in relation to disaster risk management and fire services.
This focused on, but was not limited to, the effectiveness of the institutional arrangements, systems and procedures, ability to respond and the adequacy of funding arrangements and sources of funding.He said it was a “deep-dive” analysis through a sample across all municipal categories, to arrive at an understanding of the challenges and the complexity of the provision of fire services and disaster risk management in local government.