Umkhomazi Restoration Project - Mapanekeng and Ntwasahlobo workshop reports

Download PDF
Umkhomazi Restoration Project| MDF, Erna Kruger
Umkhomazi restoration project: Inception
report; October2019
Preamble
There are considerable issues related to land and water management practices in the communal tenure areas around Impendle,
with resultant high levels of soil erosion, over grazing and wattle infestation and encroachment, as the three main issues for
siltation of streams and rivers in the area.
The Community Work Programme and the Working for Water process under the Extended Public Works Programme have both
been active in this area. This has led to a high expectation for payment to do any work not specifically within the confines for
peoples’ homesteads and fields. This attitude is unfortunately confounded by the way communal tenure arrangements have
developed over time.
The Traditional Authorities(TA) oversee land administration and land use regulations. The latter consists mainly of
arrangements around summer and winter grazing of livestock (usually livestock are allowed into the built up areas and fields in
winter and sent to the hills/ mountains for grazing in summer), allocation of fields and water access to individuals and groups in
the community and use of wattle and natural resources for firewood and other purposes. The emphasis is on use, as opposed to
management and conservation of resources.
This process is focused on finding opportunities for resource management options that community members are prepared to
undertake and developing reciprocal arrangements for such activities.As such the facilitation approach has focussed on
availability of resources, issues andchanges within these and peoples’ agricultural activities, to tease out some options for
individual and joint activities that could lead to improved soil and water management and potential incentives to motivate such
activities.
Two pilot sites, with different community -based management regimes have been identified:
1. Nxamalala in Impendle; A typical communal tenure village, where the TA is respected and active and also where the
village is in an upper catchment (to allow for the greatest potential impact in restoration work) and is contained (a
limited and defined number of households in the village to allow for community coherence) and
2. Ntwasahlobo in Stoffelton; A historical ‘black spot’ with private landowners and tenants; where the land use and
management is more directly dictated bythe landowners, in conjunction with the TA in the area. Again, a contained
village in the upper catchment of this area was selected.
Methodology and process
Community level entry was negotiated through the traditional authorities. A two-day community level process was then
undertaken, following the facilitation process outline below.
Table 1: Facilitation outline for Community level workshops
DAY 1
PURPOSE
PROCESS
REQUIREMENTS
INTRODUCTION
Community and
team
introductions
- Outline of Umkhomazi restoration
project
-Introduction of team
-Community introductions (incl
farming activities)
- Use Info sheet produced by the
INR and topographical maps awa
-photographs and visual aids of
typical erosion and climate
change issues in this area
Attendance register -
with columns for
farming enterprises (so
that each participant
can tick what they do) -
in English and Zulu
Name tags; stickers,
kokis
Umkhomazi Restoration Project| MDF, Erna Kruger
Purpose of the
day
Introduction of the organisation/s
and purpose of this workshop- link
to already ongoing activities if
possible and introduce visitors and
other stakeholders involved
talk to CC necessitating
adaptation from us - we may
need to change how we do things
and what we do to - This w/s is to
help us explore options for such
changes
Flipstand, newsprint,
kokis, data projector,
screen, extension
chords, plugs - double
adaptors, cameras
PRESENT SITUATION
Present
livelihoodsand
farming situation
- discuss impacts
related to CC
Use a series of impact pictures-
from the local situation. Include the
5 categories (and describe them to
the group) - water management
(increased efficiency and access),
soil management (erosion control,
fertility, health), crops, livestock and
natural resources
Impact pictures- either ppt or
printed on A4 to facilitate
dialogue (or both) Record
community comments
Power point
presentation pictures
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
Discuss farming
activities as they
have changed,
what they are
now andwhat
may happen in
the future if the
present trends
continue
SMALL GROUPS (5-10people):
facilitated discussion on farming
activities (include the 5 categories) -
prompt for all five and keep
conversation focussed OR
Facilitate a shorter plenary
discussion on how things are
changing ( if time is pressing)
Important to note and record any
discussions around changes and
adaptations- so things people are
already doing to accommodate
for changes - also where they are
not sure what to do
Small groups; each
needs a facilitator and
recorder
TEA
Fruit (apples, oranges, biscuits, juice and water, paper cups (lots) and plates…
REALITY/IMPACT MAPS
Summarise impacts and local
activities POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS:
things that people know, have
changed, have tried and or are
trying to deal with the changes
Prompt for social, economic,
environmental impacts as well if
these don't come up in the group
Also make a separate list on
newsprint of names of people
trying things (this is to facilitate
h/h visits on day 2)
Small groups; each
needs a facilitator and
recorder
CLOSURE
REPORT BACKS - of possible
solutions PLANNING FOR DAY 2
- choose 3-4 participants for
household visits and ask for a small
group of other interested
individuals to join. Decide on venue
and time (12 noon) for continuing
with practices
Households to be within walking
distance hopefully. Otherwise
drive these 3-4 participants
around andmeet for focus group
thereafter
Rapporteursneed to
be chosen from the
group to summarise
the solutions in the
report backs
[5min/group]
LUNCH
DAY 2: HOUSEHOLD VISITS AND FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION
Household visits
To look at local adaptations and
innovations; To assess the
household and general resource
situations; To start to elucidate
criteria people use to make choices
and decisions
Use questionnaireand fill in
through semi structured
interview and observations
Implementation
optionsfocus
group discussion
To summarise and discuss ideas
suggested in Day 1 and on
household visit walks
To introduce some ideas also from
the facilitation team
To agree on potential options and
follow-up
List and summarise different
actions and potential interest
groups for the different activities
Finalise process and dates for
follow-up activities
Presentation of a range
of practices using a
power point
presentation or visual
aids of beast practice
options.
LUNCH AND CLOSURE
Umkhomazi Restoration Project| MDF, Erna Kruger
Nxamalala (Emapanekeni) process and outcomes
DATE: 15,16 October 2019
VENUE: Mr Duma:; Member of TA, linked closely to induna Mr Khumalo,
under Nkosi Zuma (Mapanekeng village 14 households in total Some
people were removed
ATTENDANCE: 12 participants (4 men, 9 women)
FACILITATION TEAM:INR; Zanele, MDF; Erna, Tema, Nonto, Lima;
Nosiphephelo
Figure 1: Mapanekengworkshop participants, Day 1.
Upon entry, it was evident that the resource management processes for this
village different somewhat from other villages n the vicinity; there was a lot
more grass in the grazing areas, little to no burning, evidence of green
patches where wetlands were still functioning and containment of the
wattle “forests” along the ridges. There was also evidence of managed
cutting of wattle. There was some evidence of erosion (dongas and gulleys),
although at first glance most of theseappeared to be stable , with some
vegetation within and around the gulleys. This was discussed with the group
as a way of introducing the process.
Day 1: Community workshop on farming and resource management
General discussion on resource management in the village
Figure 2: Left: Well grassed area, with green strip indicating a still functional wetland. Centre: Wattle ”forest” on the slope with cut branches on
the side and Right: Donga; reasonably stable with some vegetation in and around the gulley.
Comments from community members included the following:
There is a highly functional dipping committee.
There is an agreement not to burn in the area, to provide for more grazing for livestock. Fires that do happen are
accidental or flow over from the commercial farm above.
Some burning is done in the mountains in early spring for grazing for livestock. They are moved there in summer.
Most of the men in the village own reasonably large numbers of livestock; including cattle, sheep, goats, horses, pigs
and poultry.
Water is obtained from the mountain through a protected spring, which is reticulated to a header tank and pipes with
taps to each homestead. There is no lack of water here, but little municipal support
Umkhomazi Restoration Project| MDF, Erna Kruger
Many people would like to want to relocate to the area, but cannot due to local conditions. There is no real road access to the
village just a track that has to cross stream beds, which become flooder in summer, making getting in and out of the village
difficult. It also means that at times children do not go to school, for this reason. The main requests for support from this
community was support for building roads and bridges and also fencing of fields. On the walk it became clear that most of the
households and homestead fields are well fenced 9around 4 were not), but that the request relates to wanting to expand
cropping into the more communal unfenced areas surrounding the village.
People mentioned that they work together, that there is a local tractor for use in ploughing, but that people would still need
more support in mechanisation and that the women need assistance with fencing of gardens and fields.
Most of the households have small vegetable gardens and dryland fields in the homesteads, but not all are actively using them,
as cattle invasion and access to enough water can be an issue.
How have things changed over time?
Dongas have increased over time (Mr Duma)
When it rains there are big storms and erosion because of that…
and also roads and paths are washed away and then cars cannot
enter here (MamGwala)
Crops get washed away due to heavy rains
In the past people used to do field cropping with oxen a lot. Now
there is not much… There is a need for fencing to control livestock
Forests are now a lot less than before, but there is an increase of
predators such as jackals in the wattle copses.
The Wattle is taking over- issues with uncontrolled grazing there.
Community wants them thinned out but not completely removed
as trees for firewood are scarce.
Present situation
-We have not really seen a difference in the amount of rain,just bigger storms and an issue with maintenance of soil and
soil erosion control structures
-A TLB costs R600/hr.The municipality doesn’t maintain the road here. The CWPalso doesn’t do anything here
-The Municipality doesn’t assist here; Not much communication between community leaders and members here…
Councillor doesn’t help – no electricity here
-We grow small amounts in the gardens, maize, beans, potatoes, some cabbage and spinach.
-There is some erosion encroaching on the fields and homesteads….
-Sometimes livestock die in the dongas,
-We now keep them enclosed in kraals at night as they are vulnerable to predation otherwise…
-We also buy injections when they are sick, Lost 30 sheep to a disease – Scab on their skins…
-The problem is that the Wattle forests have become very thick. They are owned by Induna and Nkosi but the
community has permission to use it, for firewood and poles.There are no limitations placed on use … CWP were meant
to clear they just cut and leave the rubble and when it rains there are even bigger problems. No consultation with the
community about how to do this and then this causes more problems.
-Some of the plantation belongs to MamZuma’s family – but it belongs to the Nkosi originally.
-CWP brought muthi to kill the bigger trees, but now they have re-germinated. Chemicals did not work.
-When the women cut the trees, there are always new shoots growing
-Now no longer using the big fields further away because of cattle, only working in our homesteads. We use a tractor in
our homestead plots. We pay for a tractor for household food (maize, beans, potatoes, cabbages, tomatoes)
-The Extension officer from KZNDARD assists with sweetpotatoes and cabbage…
-There is a group of women (isibonelo), registered as a cooperative. Not working together much. They are tired. Then
there are problems with pests in the soil that eat potatoes (termites) and also pests for cabbages… Fencing was also
stolen… The soils in the bigger fields are more damaged than the plots at peoples’ homesteads… Some of the ladies are
now old
-Some people still want to continue with planting…
-There are no markets for their products, (also led to collapse of their communalgarden)
-Climate change has affected our yields
-There is no fertilizer to put in the fields.
-Lack of knowledge regarding recommended fertilizers
-Herbicides are used to control weeds
MAIN REQUESTs FROM THE COMMUNITY
-Assistance with roads and bridges
-Assistance with fencing
-Assistance with control of Wattle; not
removal as people use them, but
thinning in a controlled manner
-Assistance in control of dongas
encroaching on homesteads
-Contours need to be rehabilitated to
control run-off
-Conservation Agriculture in fields; for
soil fertility and soil health
improvement and to reduce erosion
Umkhomazi Restoration Project| MDF, Erna Kruger
Past situation
-They used to have oxen and planters- now do not have any
-The area that is covered by wattle now used to be houses. Withthe new government people were asked to move to be
closer together to allow for service provision. Not everyone agreed to move.
-Children used to be available to do herding and help, now they are in school. Now struggling more to look after the
environment.
-Fields were fenced by the Department of Agriculture, prior to 1994. This was stolen a long time ago. Now fields are
allocated by the Nkosi, for which payment is required and if they are not used they revert back to the Nkosi. It is around
30 years since the large fields were last ploughed.
Ideas for future
* Fencing for homestead plots
* Broilers and layersfor selling (they will be less work than cropping)
* Thinning of wattle copses
* Contours need to be rehabilitated, to control runoff…
* Correct use of fertilizers and herbicides
Day 2: Household visits and focus group discussion on
options
Eight homesteads were visited; to check activities, donga encroachment and access
to resources and a walk was taken to one of the wattle copses on the hillside.A
summary of the bassline household information is provided in the attchment
Around 7 of the households are on one side of a large donga and stream and the
rest are on the opposite side. On that side there is also access to taps with water
from a spring in the mountain, but the water is not clean and not as reliable as on
the near side. The municipality originally assisted with the spring protection and
putting in the header tanks.There are also a few communal standpipes in the
village- which are not really used, as people have water in their households
Figure 3: Mr Duma’s tap in his homestead yard.
The mountain above the homestead provides grazing for livestock of the whole are
in summer (October to March)), not just this village, which makes control of
movement of livestock and management of the grazing there difficult. There is clear evidence of erosion due to cattle
movement, over grazing and injudicious burning.
Figure 4: Left: The large donga separating the two sides of the village. Centre: Erosion due to cattle movement and overgrazing. Right: burning
of the mountain for early spring grazing, also leading to erosion.
Umkhomazi Restoration Project| MDF, Erna Kruger
Most of the homesteads are well fenced, with a small garden and field, as well as kraals and housing for pigs and chickens.
Figure 5: Left: Mr Duma’s vegetable garden with peach trees and Centre his fenced field. Right: Mr Khumalo’s housing arrangement for his pigs.
Figure 6: Left; Well made roosting boxes for laying hens at Mr Duma’s homestead and Right Mr Khumalo’s well fenced homestead also
indicating wattle cut from local copses, stacked for use as firewood.
Figure 7:Left- two households with descrying or absent fences and little farming activity and Right: 2 households with dongas encroaching on
their fencelines. (Mvula Khumalo and Mkhulu Zuma.)
Umkhomazi Restoration Project| MDF, Erna Kruger
With regard to the wattle copses, the
health of the stream flowing through
the higher reaches of these copses was
in a surprisingly good condition, with
some native vegetation also evident
and some grass between the trees.
(Left picture)/ Further down the valley
however these was evidence of soil
erosion cause by the wattle thickets
9Rgiht picture). All major branches of
the trees have been cut out, leaving
them to become bushy, leading to a
lack of grass cover and increased
erosion.
Baseline information
Individuals from eight of the fourteen households were interviewed to get a snapshot of the general socio-economic and
livelihoods conditions in the area. The two small tables below provide a summary of this information
Table 2: Basic socio-economic and livelihoods information for Emapanekeni participants
From this summary it can be seen that none of the participants come from households where members are employed, all rely
on social grants and around 38% of the household heads are female. The education levels are low, with around 68% of
respondents only having a primary school level education. All households have access to electricity and water and around 86%
have well fenced homesteads and household fields. Farming (cropping, gardening and livestock rearing) is for food production
only and there is no access to markets. 86% of households own livestock (cattle, goats, horses and pigs). This is a substantial
resource, made possible for this village by it’s relative seclusion and also access to a substantial area for grazing.
Ave age
51,5
Ave no of household members
4,6
Dependency ratio; average
1,17
Income (in Rands)- unemployed
R 1 457,14
The average household income for these participants is in the region of R1500/month, shard by between 4-5 household
members. The dependency ratio of 1.17 children to eachadult is however quite low, when compared to other rural villages in
the region. In summary, these households are all extremely poor and vulnerable economically, but are well resourced in terms
of water and access to natural resources.
0%20% 40% 60% 80%100%120%
F emale head of hh
Education: Primary school
Members of social organisations; stokvels
Access to tap water
Access to communal stand pipes
Electricity
Fencing of homesteads and household fields
Income from grants
Unemployed
Farming for food only
Size of fields (0,1-1ha)
Size of fields (1-2ha)
Livestock ownership
Summary of socio-economic information, Emapanekeni, Oct 2019 (n=8)
Umkhomazi Restoration Project| MDF, Erna Kruger
Focus group discussion
A discussion was held around the need for work in the wattle copses and on the dongas threatening homesteads and fields.
Thus far the only efforts in this regard have bene through the Community Work Programme (CWP), although not much has been
done. It is possible to speak to the councillor Mrs Shangase, to ask for the CWP teams to work in the dongas although
participants did not agree on this approach, as some felt that the councillor wold not support them and others thought that then
workers from other villages would be brought in and it would not benefit householders in this village. Also, workers brought in
from elsewhere would not be committed to doing a good job.
A discussion around work for incentives rather than payment was held. Ideas included:
-Work in wattle copses and clearing of wattle form stream beds in exchange for poles and fencing materials
-Reducing the encroachment of wattle copses and removing wattle in streams (a more limited option) OR work in
dongas threatening homesteads, in exchange for support on Conservation Agriculture (Inputs and training) OR fencing
OR supplementation support for livestock
Regarding the Wattle copses and erosion on the mountain,it was noted thatthe broader community and the traditional
Authority would need to be involved. In addition, some of the participants clearly favoured the need to be paid and felt they
would want to decide for themselves how to use the monies earned, rather than being given specific materials
It was agreed that Mr Duma would discuss these options with the Induna (Mr Khumalo), to get a final answer. The answer from
the TA, was that people should be paid. Sadly also, Mr Khumalo passed away a week later, removing a central person in the local
decisions making process.
Regarding Conservation Agriculture, it was agreed that all 14 households want to be part of this process and that their
contribution would be to plant an equivalent area to the CA trial plots by themselves as their contribution. The next meeting in
this regard was set of 12 November 2019.
Umkhomazi Restoration Project| MDF, Erna Kruger
Stoffelton (Ntwasahlobo) process and outcomes
Day 1: Community workshop on farming and resource management (28 October 2019)
Introduction
The Institute for Natural Resources (INR), in partnership with Mahlathini Development Foundation (MDF) and Lima undertook a
visit to Ntwasahlobo Village at Stoffetlon for an introductory meeting of the Umgeni Catchment Rehabilitation Project. The
meeting was chaired by Ms Zanele Shezi from INR who also co-facilitated with Ms TN Mathebula from MDF. As per standard
procedure, the gathering opened with prayer, followed by a welcome from the local Induna, (Mr Mbelu) as well as individual
introductions. The purpose of the meeting was to identify challenges related to land degradation and come up possible
interventions, together with the community. The project is still at the preliminary stage where interventions will be pilotedover
a six-month period, with the possibility of being fully implemented across the catchment at a later stage.
Attendance: 42 participants(day 1), 25 participants, 7 new (day 2). Attendance registers attached.
During the introductions, each individual was asked what activities were theycurrently involved in, and more than 50 percent of
the participants said they were not doing anything. Those who were active listed field crop production (maize, beans potatoes)
and vegetable farming (mainly cabbages), as their primary activities. There is a local mill. Others also owned livestock; mainly
cattle, chickens and goats. Also present at the meeting, were youth members of which 95 percent were unemployed. One youth
member, Nomfundo Mbanjwa informed the meeting that she was part of a youth groupwhich wants to venture into farming
and requested assistance in this regard.
A few participants were locally employed through the CWP (school gardening) and as primary health care and nutrition advisors
in the community, linked to the local clinic.
Discussion on Natural Resources
The discussion on the state of natural resources was somewhat complex, due to issues linked to land ownership. Present at the
meeting, were land owners as well as tenants, of which the latter made up the majority. Tenants are allocated a portion of land
and pay an annual fee to the land owner. They, however, seemed unclear on issues relating to wattle encroachment and the
spread of dongas as they did not perceive these as an immediate threat to them.Tenants normally purchase wattle for firewood
and fencing from the owners. Hence, to them it is an asset rather than a threat. If wattle happens to grow in a tenant’s field, it
benefits them as it becomes a free source of firewood.
There were opposing views regarding how land is managed. Some tenants said they were free to do as they wished and others
claimed to be restricted by the land owners, more specifically related to livestock ownership. Tenants have no decision-making
powers outside their own areas; thus, do not pay attentionto what happens on the larger landscape. One of the concerns they
raised was lack of sufficient land to graze their livestock and build houses. As a result, some have built their homes on cropping
land.
Umkhomazi Restoration Project| MDF, Erna Kruger
The land owners are people who either bought land from the chief or reside on family owned land. Mr Moeketsi Molefe is a land
owner who lives on a farm previously owned by his great grandparents. He mentioned that he had a serious problem with
wattle encroachment which was adversely affecting natural watersources. Wild animals also posed a serious danger to livestock
because of the wattle forest.
Wattle: Tenants buy wattle as firewood from the owners. Mostly owners do not mind the wattle copses on their farms as they
make an income from that. There is however encroachment of wattle in places that cause problems for landowners. For tenants,
if it is one their plots, this is a free resource.
There have been teams clearing wattle in the past, causing erosion, but the wattle just regrows. There is no follow-up.
Water scarcity: Household water provision is managed through the Umgungundlovu District Municipality. Taps often run dry.
Water trucks also come from Impendle. Some participants have access to local water sources; springs, streams and small dams,
that are shared with livestock.
Reduced grazing is also a challenge as overgrazing has led to the spread of a grass species known as Indlolothi which is less
palatable for cattle. These is no livestock management system in place.
Soil erosion and formation of dongas was identified as a major issue, especially in the broader land scape where dongas have
formed due to years of soil being washed away. The participants however, said their homestead gardens and fields have fertile
soil but they have noticed a reduction in yields due to insufficient rainfall. Water pipes were left bare on the road which caused a
lot of water spillage into fields during heavy rains and increased erosion.
Soil Structure: some reported a change in soil colour over time, reduction in soil aggregates and soil compaction.
Summary of issues and changes
Wattle encroachment leading to shortages of water and reduction in grazing
Wetlands have dried out; partly due to overgrazing and partly due to commercial plantations of pine, upstream of the
wetlands.
Extension officers work with landowners, not tenants
Climate change has negatively affected crop production
Eroded areas are not close to homesteads and erosion and wattle encroachment are not considered an issue by the
tenants, who see this as something the landowners need to deal with.
Moles in fields and other pests pose a significant threat to crop yields
There is no grazing management in the area and there is not enough grazing. The quality of grazing is low and both
landowners and tenants (around 50% of whom own cattle) buy hay in winter if they can afford this. Landowners have
access to more grazing than the tenants.
Adaptation Practices
In terms of agricultural production, most participants employ various practices such as:
Applying liquid manure to improve crop growth in gardens
Mixed cropping, for the reduction of pests and diseases and
Crop rotation
The meeting was closed early on Day 1. Household visitswere arranged to four participants; Mr Moeketsi Molefe, Nofundo
Mbanjwa, Mr Majola and Hilda Molefe. It was also agreed that a separate meeting would need to be arranged with landowners
to discuss the broader natural resource management issues (wattle encroachment and soil erosion).
Day 2: Focus group discussion on options
Climate change impacts
Climate change was reported to have a significant impact on farming. Vegetable planting used to take place in August followed
by maize and potatoes in October and early November. Unpredictable rainfall patterns have resulted in a shift in planting times,
often to later on in the season. Currently, no planting has taken place as it is too dry. They used to have snow once every 3years
but now the period between snow falls is getting wider. Snow is beneficial as the ice takes a long time to melt, thus keeping the
soil moist for an extended period which is very good for crops. The last snow fall was in 2017. Snow causes damage if it falls in
December as the crops had already germinated and thus get damaged by ice.
In summary, climate change impacts are:
The area is drier and there is less grazing available for livestock
Dams and streams have dried up and water shortages are now common
The reduction in rain. with intermittent heave downpours has caused erosion and compaction of the soil
The variability in rain has cause significant yield losses
Umkhomazi Restoration Project| MDF, Erna Kruger
Potential ideas and practices
A few potential options were discussed by the team at the end of Day 1, that could be introduced to the group:
Conservation Agriculture
Intensive organic gardening, with soil and water conservation practices at household level (maybe inclusive of small
shade cloth tunnels)
Work on dongas in exchange for farming enterprise inputs and fencing(potentially by the youth cooperative and above
to households where dongas are encroaching)
Fenced gulley gardens that include check dams with planting of Napier or Bana Grass as examples
Spring protection and
A youth project providing fencing and growing of fodder for goat production
After the climate change discussion, the facilitation team presented a number of practices for participants to choose from,
which included Conservation Agriculture, brush packing, trench-beds, tower gardens, check dams, stone bunds, diversion
ditches, gulley gardens and underground water storage tanks. From the list of practices, conservation agriculture (CA) attracted
the greatest interest as it encompasses all important aspects of good agricultural practice and focuses on both soil and water
conservation. Participants were also very interested in the hand held CA planters introduced.
It was agreed that on the 11th of November, MDF would meet with participants for a spraying and planting workshop and on the
18th, the planting demonstration will be carried out. Participants initially suggested that the clinic garden or the local creche be
used as a demonstration site, but upon further explanation from the team it was agreed to work in one of the participants’ fields
and that both landowners and tenants would attend this learning session. Access to limited resources to conduct the CA
experiments would be provided to all interested individuals, for them to implement the farmer level trials in their own fields.
In addition, Nomfundo Mbanjwa will attend with her youth
group to discuss a potential option for support in gardening in
exchange for their labour on a donga encroaching on their
garden. This will be discussed in more detail on either the 11th
or 18th depending on attendance from this group.
An opportunity was also provided for Nomfundo Mbanjwa to
attend a training in water quality monitoring offered by
Ground Truth, on the 6th and 7th of November 2019
Right: Some of the younger participants who joined the
meetings, including Nomfundo at the back (top left).
The individual baseline interview will also be conducted on
these days.
Removal of Wattle and Donga Rehabilitation
Subsequent to the minor squabbles regarding the control of wattle and donga rehabilitation; it was agreed that a separate
meeting would be convened with the land owners. That meeting will provide more insight into what the owners believe are the
primary issues, and what interventions are required. It will also provide a platform for them to be involved in the project, since
ultimately the conservation of natural resources is everyone’s responsibility. At the meeting, one of the land owners suggested
that the wattle be used to make logs, firewood and other materials which will be supplied to local service stations. In this way,
he as a land owner will create employment for loggers and packers while also earning an income from the wattle. Other
suggestions made were using wattle as animal feed, but first applying a chemical to removethe tannins before administering it
to livestock. Lastly, it was proposed that training on how to cut and paint the wattle so it doesn’t grow back will be provided to
local community members as way to empower them to control the wattle themselves. This discussion is still continuing.