Pilots from Kishugu Aviation which forms part of the Working on Fire – Kishugu Joint Venture has been hard at work since Friday afternoon, 16 June 2023, providing much needed aerial resources to Western Cape Disaster Management authorities, as humanitarian relief efforts continued, providing food, blankets and medical supplies to especially isolated communities in the Cederberg mountains.
The Western Cape has been hard hit over the past 72 hours with severe storms and the West Coast District Municipality (Matzikamma, Cederberg, Bergrivier, Saldanha Bay & Swartland) have been the most affected, making many roads and bridges inaccessible. Kishugu Aviation provided two helicopters (one leased from Henley Air) and a spotter plane to assist in these humanitarian efforts and they were used effectively to reach people who have been isolated for days and providing much needed food and water supplies.
Kishugu Aviation used the Porterville Airfield which is normally used as the Airbase during the Western Cape Summer Fire Season to dispatch these aircraft who were supported by ground crews and Aerial Support Vehicles. This past weekend these aircraft moved just over 8 tons of food, blankets, water, and medical supplies.
This came after Kishugu Aviation was activated on Friday afternoon by the Western Cape Disaster Management and flew the aircrafts from its airbase in Denneoord, George to the Porterville airbase and from there onto the staging area in Clanwilliam from where the humanitarian efforts were managed.
Today, Monday, 19 June 2023, the aircrafts has unfortunately been grounded due to bad weather and poor visibility. Once this situation has cleared and it is safe for the aircrafts to fly, they will continue with these humanitarian efforts.
We are extremely proud of our pilots and ground teams who are normally used to work during extreme fires in the Western Cape and this aerial support role will continue as long as the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre requires it.