Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, asks people to wear blue tomorrow as the provincial government recognise the call from the World Health Organization (WHO) to ‘Go Blue’ for Drowning Prevention Day on the 25th of July. “Join me tomorrow in wearing something blue to increase our awareness of drowning risks in our communities and to ensure that these preventable deaths and injuries are avoided,” Minister Bredell said.
The WHO and the global drowning prevention community observes World Drowning Prevention Day on 25 July annually. Globally, drowning has been the cause of over 2.5 million preventable deaths in the past decade, and in the Western Cape, approximately 200 people lose their lives due to drowning every year. Tragically, 40% of these deaths are children. There are also many non-fatal drowning incidents which leave families and individuals devastated by the long-term health and economic effects of drowning. Most of these deaths and injuries are preventable.
The Department of Local Government, through its Provincial Disaster Management Centre, has been financially supporting the Lifesaving Western Cape and National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) over several years with an annual grant to ensure an effective response to water emergencies. Both Lifesaving WC and the National Sea Rescue Institute are non-profit organisations dealing with water-related emergencies/disaster rescue activities. These organisations also support the recommendations of the Western Cape Drowning Prevention Strategy that was developed in 2017.
“Whenever you or your loved ones are enjoying our beaches, dams or rivers, please be viligent. Let’s work together to prevent these avoidable deaths as anyone can drown, but no one should,” Minister Bredell asked.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic Of South Africa: Western Cape Provincial Government.