Algarve Situation Report Wednesday 21st February 2024
Good day to you all, and we start this report with details of a number of initiatives that have been announced across the region with regards to Civil Protection. One of the main remits of Safe Communities is to pass on details of issues affecting citizens across the country with regards to Civil protection.
This week we hear of some new initiatives that are to take place across the Algarve. On the 1st March, World Civil Protection Day happens and Loule Council is marking the day with an event in Quarteira. Between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm, the Municipal Civil Protection Service of that municipality organises the 3rd edition of the Emergency Event, which takes place on the eastern promenade of Quarteira.
The event foresees a set of initiatives promoted by various civil protection agents and services, cooperating entities that will promote a set of activities, with a view to the participation and involvement of the school community and the population in general.
In addition to the exhibition of means and equipment within the scope of civil protection, awareness and training sessions, lectures aimed at the community, demonstration of skills, drills, among other initiatives, will also be held. The initiative’s aim is to “build safer and more resilient communities”, as part of the international campaign “Build Resilient Cities”, by the United Nations (UN ) , which the municipality of Loulé is part of.
World Civil Protection Day was established by the International Civil Protection Organization (OIPC) and is celebrated annually on March 1st, the date on which the Constitution of the aforementioned organisation came into force.
Meanwhile in Albufeira, The Municipal Civil Protection Service (SMPC) returns to schools to promote awareness and prevention actions, with a view to implementing a set of routines and appropriate behaviours in an emergency situation, informed the municipality. You can read more about this important initiative further in this report.
Now for a look at some of the other newsworthy items that have happened across the region in the past week.
Government admits “more serious” measures to guarantee water reserves
According to the resolution of the Council of Ministers, possible additional measures, which provide for a “higher degree of contingency” can be implemented after the reassessment of the drought situation in the region, which will be carried out in June.
The Government admits “more serious additional measures” to guarantee the minimum reserves that allow the supply of water for priority uses in the Algarve, if the current ones prove to be insufficient, states a resolution published this Tuesday in Diário da República .
The Government reserves the right, if the measures now adopted prove to be insufficient, to, under the Basic Law on Civil Protection,declare a calamity situation”, the document reads. The Algarve is currently on alert due to drought and, if there is a declaration of calamity, it will be possible to establish limits and restrictions on the use of water in non-essential uses, as well as rationalisation measures in public water supply services, refers.
At the same time, he adds, “the possibility of access to other sources of supply will be provided, strictly necessary to carry out actions aimed at reestablishing normality in the living conditions of the populations”.
In the same sense, the Government may also determine the use of surface or underground water abstractions, belonging to public or private entities, by the concessionaire of the Algarve’s multi-municipal water supply and sanitation system, when necessary, in accordance with the Basic Law of Civil Protection in force.
Alternatively, the declaration of a state of environmental emergency as provided for in the Water Law may be considered.
The measures planned by the Government to preserve water reserves in the region include the suspension of the public water supply for irrigation of golf courses.
On the other hand, between June 1st and September 30th, the use of public water for washing vehicles is suspended, except in establishments licensed for commercial activity with water recirculation systems.
According to the Government, the current situation in the Algarve “appears particularly critical”, and there could be an eventual “effective disruption in public supply systems” for human consumption, if water use continues at current levels. In a scenario in which measures are not adopted and implemented to guarantee the preservation of water reserves and in the absence of precipitation well above the maximum values occurred in the last six years, the supply of water for human consumption in the Algarve region will be reduced and severely compromised”, states the resolution.
The alert situation due to drought in the Algarve was declared by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) in December 2023 and reaffirmed on January 25th.
The current situation of water reserves in the Algarve region determines that “current uses of water cannot be adequately satisfied with existing reserves” in surface and underground waters, maintains the Government.
Meanwhile, staying on the subject of water, The Portimão Municipal Water and Waste Company (EMARP) launched the “Blue March” campaign on February 1 in partnership with Algarve municipalities, it was announced.
The campaign’s theme is water and sanitation, highlighting the urgency of combating the waste of this natural resource. The initiative aims to contribute to a society “more aware and capable of putting into practice behaviours that are perpetuated by future generations”, says EMARP in a statement.
The month of March will be marked by the presentation of environmental education and awareness initiatives aimed at the school community and the population in general. In the current context of the prolonged hydrological drought that the Algarve is facing, with very low water reservoir storage levels, EMARP draws attention to the importance of good practices and behaviours adjusted to reality.
A specific package of actions on the topic of water and sanitation was made available to school groups in the municipality of Portimão, which covers information about the climate context that the Algarve region is experiencing.
The program of activities, which starts on March 1st and will run until the end of the school year, can be found here .
Among the different initiatives there is also the launch of the children’s book “Let’s save Hidra” and the carrying out of an action entitled “Invisible Waste”, on World Water Day, marked on March 22, at the Continente Shopping Center in Portimão.
Desalination Plant Construction Tender launched By Aguas Do Algarve
The competition for the construction of a desalination plant in the Algarve, with financing from the Recovery and Resilience Plan ( PRR ), was launched on Friday, the 16th, with the publication of the procedure in Diário da República, announced Águas do Algarve.
The construction of a desalination plant in Albufeira, whose base price is 90 million euros, is one of the response measures to the drought affecting the southern region of Portugal, with the equipment expected to have an initial capacity to convert seawater in potable capacity of 16 cubic hectometers.
In a statement, Águas do Algarve, which manages the multi-municipal water supply system in the region, said the work is prepared to increase capacity to 24 hectometers (million cubic metres) per year. The company responsible for the region’s booming water supply, which is responsible for managing infrastructure such as dams or Wastewater Treatment Plants, highlighted that the work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2026.
The year 2026 is the year established as the limit for the use of PRR funds, a support program created by the European Union to revitalise the economy after the covid-19 pandemic.
“This structural project for the region aims to guarantee the resilience of public supply to the population of the Algarve, particularly in periods of prolonged drought, through an increase in water availability”, highlighted the company.
The same source noted that the Algarve Seawater Desalination Station is included in a “range of investments that Águas do Algarve is carrying out within the scope of the Algarve Water Efficiency Plan, under the PRR, and which will allow for increased water availability in the region by more than 69 million cubic metres per year.
The president of Águas do Algarve, mentioned in the statement, highlighted the work carried out by the company’s workers, which allowed them to meet the project’s demands and deadlines, “at a time of high process complexity, inherent to the challenges that water scarcity has been posing. contribute to the region.”
António Eusébio also said that the effort made is also an example of the company’s “continuous commitment to water efficiency and environmental sustainability”.
The Algarve is being affected by a drought that has caused a shortage of water reserves and the Government has taken measures to restrict consumption to be applied from March, such as cuts of 25% to agriculture and 15% to the urban sector.
In addition to the desalination plant, municipal investments are also underway to combat network losses, reduce or eliminate irrigation in green spaces or use treated water to irrigate golf courses and clean streets.
At the same time, there are plans and proposals to capture water from the Guadiana River in Pomarão and take it to the Odeleite dam, in the eastern (lee) Algarve, and the construction of a third dam in that area of the Algarve, on the Foupana river. .
Albufeira Promotes Awareness and Prevention Actions in Schools
The Municipal Civil Protection Service (SMPC) returns to schools in the municipality of Albufeira to promote awareness and prevention actions, with a view to implementing a set of routines and appropriate behaviours in an emergency situation, informed the municipality.
In the current academic year, through the project entitled “Civil Protection Heroes”, which began in January, it is expected that approximately seven thousand children and young people from pre-school to secondary education will be involved.
The “Civil Protection Heroes” activity is aimed at pre-school and 1st cycle students (from 1st to 3rd year), while students in the 4th year of 1st cycle participate in the “First Aid” activity, which allows them to learn basic first aid techniques, how to make a call to 112, among other low-complexity tasks. At the end, children are given a card and an emergency kit to use in the event of a serious accident or catastrophe.
Students in the 2nd and 3rd cycle will work on the activity “The Importance of Citizens in Civil Protection”, which aims to educate on prevention and self-protection, informing younger students about the measures they should adopt when they occur catastrophes and explain the role of the various Civil Protection agents.
As for the “Learning to Save/BLS” activity, it aims to provide students from the 9th year to the 12th year with skills in Basic Life Support in the theoretical and practical component, with a view to training in the classroom to learn how to act in a real emergency situation.
In a statement, the municipality states that throughout the month of March an exhibition will be held, at the entrance to the 1st floor of the Albufeira Town Hall, with the work carried out in 2023 by pre-school and 1st grade students. th cycle, within the scope of the aforementioned initiative. The exhibition called “The Risks of Our City” can be visited during municipal opening hours (weekdays, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm). The project, which according to the municipality, has been well received by the educational community, is an organisation of the municipality of Albufeira, through the SMPC, in partnership with other agents, namely the Albufeira Volunteer Firefighters, the Portuguese Red Cross – Silves Delegation and Albufeira, Municipal Police, ANSA – Association of Lifeguards of Albufeira, among other entities.
Man detained with prohibited weapon in Vila Real de Santo António
The criminal investigation brigade of the Vila Real de Santo António (VRSA) police station arrested a man, in the act, accused of the crime of possession of a prohibited weapon, last weekend, in that city, informs the District Command of the PSP of Faro. The arrest occurred following an action specifically aimed at combating criminal practices that create insecurity, in the city of Vila Real de Santo António.
The individual, with a known criminal record for various crimes, was detained, during this action, by police officers from the criminal investigation brigade. The man had an attitude and attempted to evade police control, raising “founded suspicions that he was in possession of something illicit.”, Reinforces the PSP.
The suspect was secretly carrying an extendable baton, which is why he was detained and had to appear in court later.
And finally to end this report, The benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which have been touted across the world, will be available to millions of people under a protocol between the University of Algarve ( UAlg ) and a North American platform that created an application for healthy eating.
The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Algarve academy and the Carb Manager platform, which promotes the ketogenic diet (‘keto diet’, in English), and which will incorporate the Mediterranean diet through a program developed with the university’s entrepreneurship division. .
The director of the Diet and Nutrition course at UAlg, Maria Palma Mateus, said that “the project will contribute to the dissemination of the Mediterranean diet, showing that, although it is something traditional, it is versatile and can adapt to today’s times and diverse needs.” This is because, he says, “the work focused on adapting” the Mediterranean diet to the characteristics and concept of the ketogenic diet that the company produces, “which is a diet based on foods very rich in fat and less cereals”.
The project began with a call made by Empowered Startups, a platform for developing business ideas and incubating ‘start-ups’, between those responsible for the digital application and UAlg.
The Mediterranean diet, which had its origins in countries bathed by the Mediterranean Sea, is based on the variety and abundance of fresh foods of plant origin and moderation of foods of animal origin.
The Mediterranean diet was declared in November 2010 as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), during the Intergovernmental Committee meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to Maria Palma Mateus, adapting to the project’s food programs “was a challenge and an interesting job”, which included taking the most common foods that the company has in its diet, “removing some cereals and use the most restrictive fats provided for in the Mediterranean diet”.
Until the next time stay Healthy and Safe!