17-02-19 HGS “Ride for Sight:

100_1183On Sunday the 19th February 2107, Hamnet Gauteng South provided services to the annual Dischem Ride for Sight race held from the Boksburg stadium.

This year there were 31 operators manning 10 sweep vehicles, 5 water tables and 4 quantum busses with trailers to collect cyclists that had retired from the race. All driven by Hamnet members. The balance of the team set up, manned and operated the JOCC together with Helivac and the Road Rangers

This year proved to be a rather challenging race with many incidents being thrown at the team

DSC00061To start with, there were so many injuries and accidents early in the race that ambulances became scarce. At one incident there were 3 cyclists injured and eventually 2 were transported in one ambulance and the 3rd in a second ambulance. The other 3 responded to other incidents leaving the race with minimal available ambulances with incidents pilling up. A back up plan with the service provider is that they have a service level agreement with private companies like ER24 and Emergimed that if they need more ambulances, they call them in. This was done with 3 more ambulances being brought in and diving into the thick of it. Unfortunately, coming in out the cold, they did not know the route and there was no radio communications with them except by phone. Getting them to scenes was hard.

Another issue was the marshals / metro on the short route, made a complete error and directed arguably 80% of the short route race down the wrong road!!! Obviously, on that route, there were no marshals, and to add to the issues, they turned about 4km’s before their 1st water point, therefore missing out on their refreshment refills! Where they cyclists re-joined the race, they entered after WP4, so effectively; they did not pass one single water point during their slightly shortened race. Fortunately Shane (ZS6ZSB) who started sweeping that area noticed the error and called it in. This incident literally drew in 5 of our members to manage the incident. The team could not rectify it as they would never get the cyclists back on the route. So they completed a slightly shortened race, however, this also affected WP 6 at the stadium.

DSC00016At the same time, water point 1 was preparing to close down. Normally the excess refreshments in the WP1 truck are then sent to water point 4 who are at the same time getting desperate for a top up. Believe it or not, the truck would not start!!! To complicate matters, the stadium water point ran out of water and the next thing, Chris (ZS6COG) at water point 3 started asking for additional drinks!!! If anyone was monitoring, they would have heard all the discussion that took place. Suffice to say, that one truck at WP1 threw a very big spanner in the works. The water running out at the stadium water point was arguably a direct result of the short race missing their two water stops and probably being very thirsty for water at the end.

For the first time known, the cut off at WP3 was enforced by the JOCC as the temperatures were very high and again people dropping out. On the radio, a consistent chatter was heard from the busses reporting they were full and returning to base. Again, something completely new. Unfortunately we have 3 members with PDP’s and 4 busses. Hopefully next year we will have 4 PDP’s??? But this did not stop the team putting Hamnet guys in the 4th buss with the contracted driver.

Overall however, the race went exceptionally well in the eyes of the organisers who were ecstatic the way every had gone. In total there were 5700 cyclists who all had a great day out by the look of it.

The team was obviously tired from being up at 03h00 in the morning and returned home for a well-earned break.

Glynn Chamberlain

ZS6GLN

HAMNET Report 5 March 2017

News this week centres on weather, in all its forms and manifestations.

The City of Cape Town is considering additional plans to intensify level 3 water restrictions, amid a bid to declare the City an emergency disaster area.

Earlier, Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille, announced plans to write to the environmental affairs MEC to declare Cape Town an emergency disaster area.

Briefing media and other parties, De Lille said the City is in a crisis, with the average dam levels now at 33%.

Dr Kevin Winter of the Future Water Institute was at the briefing.

Short and medium term plans have so far helped reduce water consumption in the city – decreasing water consumption by 27%.

Further water restrictions will likely in the near future include no irrigation and no topping up of swimming pools.

Winter says he is impressed by the comprehensive approach that the city has taken in addressing the issue.

It brought home two realities – the water crisis and the intent of the City to write to Minister Anton Bredell to declare Cape Town a disaster.

“The other wake-up call is the recognition that we now need to be much more proactive in the way in which we are integrating our water sources and the different sources that we need to call on in the near future.

There is still no clarity whether there is funding to continue with the implementation of the Table Mountain Group (TMG) aquifer scheme between 2022 and 2026.

I would hope to see at some stage – if we are bringing it forward – what those timelines and planning are all about because it’s certainly not in any City budget that I have seen so far,” said Dr Kevin Winter, Future Water Institute researcher.

Winter says the rainfall predictions remain uncertain, but control of water use needs to be tightened.

De Lille is hoping national government will free funds to enable the municipality to implement new water supply schemes.

Globetrotting surfing pro Dion Agius was touring in Mozambique earlier this month, and so was Cyclone Dineo, smashing Mozambique and Zimbabwe, flooding huge swaths of both countries. Over 100,000 people were displaced in Mozambique, with dozens of homes destroyed and at least seven people killed.

The storm caught Agius by surprise, and as he waited out the storm’s passing, he recorded his lodging being ripped apart by 180 km/hr winds. He was so moved by the destruction he saw the next day that he put together a short film to help spread the word that the locals need help.

Very little outside media is reporting on the disaster. Some South African news agencies as well as Al Jazeera have done stories but word doesn’t seem to be spreading to the rest of the world.

Agius is drawing people’s attention to a GoFundMe campaign, if they’re inclined and have the means to help these people rebuild.

And, in Zimbabwe, floods have killed 246 people and left nearly 2,000 homeless since December, government officials said.

Aljazeera News reports that Saviour Kasukuwere, minister of local government, declared a national disaster and announced the death toll on Thursday, saying 128 people have been injured in the floods.

The Southern African country has appealed to international donors for $100m to help those affected by the floods, which have washed away several bridges and roads and cut off some communities from surrounding areas.

“There is an inadequate supply of tents, foodstuffs and drugs for the affected people,” Kasukuwere told The Herald newspaper. “There is a need for blankets and clothing for the affected families as they are at risk of contracting pneumonia and acute respiratory infections.”

Unable to get balance of payment support from foreign lenders due to unpaid arrears, and with more than 90 percent of its national budget going to salaries, Zimbabwe’s public infrastructure has been crumbling for more than a decade.

“After working hard responding to the effects of drought, the same people are now suffering because of excessive floods,” Bishow Parajuli, of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), told The Herald.

Transport Minister Joram Gumbo told reporters on Wednesday that in the southern parts of the country, some sections of highways and bridges were completely washed away following the latest heavy rainfall.

Gumbo said the government would raise $100m to repair the country’s infrastructure. The national road agency would chip in with half of the money, which it would borrow from local banks, he said.

“The state of our roads has further deteriorated to the extent that some sections of the national road network have become impassable,” Gumbo said.

And, if that isn’t enough, there is another tropical storm lurking on the far side of Madagascar, this one called Enawo, forecast to strike Madagascar as an intense tropical cyclone at about 06:00 UTC on Tuesday 7 March. Enawo is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 203 km/h. Wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher.

According to the Saffir-Simpson damage scale, the potential property damage and flooding from a storm of Enawo’s strength (category 3) at landfall includes: storm surge generally 2.7-3.7 metres (9-12 feet) above normal; some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings;  damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down; mobile homes and poorly constructed signs destroyed; and low-lying escape routes cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the centre of the storm. Flooding near the coast may destroy smaller structures with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris. Terrain may be flooded inland for 13 km or more. Evacuation of low-lying residences within several blocks of the shoreline may be required. There is also the potential for flooding further inland due to heavy rain.

At this stage, it looks as though Enawo will remain East of Madagascar, so South Africa should be safe, but weather-watchers on our Eastern coastline are advised to remain vigilant.

Thank you to the national and international news agencies for these news items.

This is Dave Reece ZS1DFR reporting for HAMNET in South Africa.