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“It is a privilege to help people in distress and bring back the real-world experiences to the University. It benefits the community and it helps to give the families closure as many loved ones are lost."

"This experience helps me to become a better lecturer for my students”, says Travis Trower, Emergency Medical Care lecturer at Nelson Mandela University. 

Travis, as a team leader with the organisation Rescue SA, spent a week at White River to assist with the effects of Cyclone Eloise, which spread disaster in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and South Africa.  Some towns and villages in eastern Mpumalanga were cut off after roads were blocked by landslides, rivers burst their banks and trees were uprooted.

Mercy Air farm in White River was the most central point and where the cyclone was going to hit South Africa. It was also the ideal base from where to fly to Mpumalanga and Limpopo by helicopter to the disaster areas.

The Mercy Air farm belongs to a Christian NGO providing support during rescue operations in terms of its agreement with Rescue South Africa. The farm is ideal as it houses aircraft hangers.

At the disaster sites, the teams met with police search and rescue teams as well as with local disaster management. They gathered information as to what areas of the community would be most affected.  This meant searching for lost people in flooded areas in and around the local rivers.

Fortunately, the areas that were mostly affected could be predicted and people could be moved away in time.  

Travis also assisted with the Mozambique cyclone in 2019 and the earthquakes in Nepal (2015) and Haiti (2010).

Contact information
Mr Nico Louw
Senior Lecturer
Tel: 0415044381