Over the past few days, the NSPCA, along with Bloemfontein SPCA, Kimberley SPCA and Virginia SPCA, have been on the ground in Jagersfontein to assist the community and their animals. The NSPCA now has a good sense of the severity of the crises in terms of animal welfare.
After thoroughly working through the area that was directly affected by the flooding, as well as the surrounding areas which were not so badly affected by the floods, the NSPCA can confirm that no further intervention in terms of rescuing is required. Wild animals, such as meerkats, crabs, fish, birds etc were found and assisted, as well as a few farm and domestic animals.
The NSPCA has also engaged in a meeting held by the Joint Operations Committee (JOC) in relation to the Jagersfontein disaster. At the meeting, the JOC indicated that rescue efforts should now be turned to relief efforts.
This is not the first mining dam disaster that the NSPCA has attended to. In 1994, the NSPCA formed part of the emergency responders during the Merriespruit tailings dam disaster in Virginia. The Council is well informed about the aftermath that this disaster will have on its surrounding communities and their animals. Many people have lost their homes and livelihoods and it will take them some time to recover from this disaster. The NSPCA is currently trying to pool its resources in order to provide assistance to the affected communities in terms of their animals.
The NSPCA will ensure that relief is provided to the affected communities. This assistance will go beyond just the collection of displaced animals, and will focus on trying to provide much-needed feed for animals to the people who are trying to get back on their feet.
The NSPCA will continue engaging with various role players such as the Department of Human Settlement, the Department of Environmental Affairs, Municipal Town Planning, the Department of Social Development etc. in order to compile a steadfast approach to a resolution of the crises, taking into consideration the hazard that the sludge poses to the people and animals.
The NSPCA extends its appreciation to everyone who has offered their assistance and made donations to support the NSPCAs rescue and relief efforts in this disaster.
The NSPCA will continue to provide updates accordingly.