The Southern African Development Community (SADC) notes with great sorrow and sadness the devastating loss of lives and property that the region has suffered following the disaster events emanating from torrential rains and floods in Kwazulu Natal, and surrounding areas in the Republic of South Africa. Initial assessments indicate that over 643 people have lost their lives with over 72 people still missing. The heavy rains and flooding have affected over 116,708 people and displaced thousands. The damage to infrastructure including roads, bridges and property is unimaginable, with nearly 4,000 homes completely destroyed while over 8,300 homes have been partially damaged. Thousands of people have lost access to social services and amenities with 511 structures from the various organs of State having been destroyed, including schools, government offices and hospitals.
SADC conveys its heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of the Republic of South Africa and the bereaved families, and wishes those injured a quick recovery. SADC stands in solidarity with the Government of South Africa and those affected by this disaster, as they undertake efforts to recover from the impacts of this disaster. I wish to commend the Government of the Republic of South Africa and all those supporting the Government’s efforts for the unwavering dedication to saving lives and helping those affected by the disaster. May I also call upon all our stakeholders and partners, within and beyond the region, to continue to support the recovery efforts, and provide the humanitarian assistance that is urgently required while also supporting the Government to build back better.
While these climates related events may continue to increase in severity and impact, our commitment to building a region that is resilient to disasters is steadfast. SADC reiterates its call for both regional and global efforts aimed at accelerating actions that reduce global warming in accordance with the provisions of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and Glasgow Climate Pact.
May I also call upon SADC Member States to continue to put in place measures to scale up implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) by strengthening early warning capacities and capabilities, ensuring preparedness and enhanced resilience, while also promoting sustainable utilisation of the environment including reforestation and afforestation, as environmental integrity is critical for regulating and reducing the impacts of climate change and floods.
This should be coupled with our regional efforts to expeditiously operationalise and adequately resource regional coordination mechanisms to ensure coordinated efforts in dealing with natural and manmade disasters moving forward.
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