Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 06 June 2011
An amount of R2 million has been allocated to the Adopt a River project to allow it to continue for another 12 months.
Launching the Buffalo Adopt a River project on Friday in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape, Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, reported that 595 job opportunities have been created through the project.
The initiative is currently implemented in Limpopo, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Free State, which were the pilot provinces.
Mabudafhasi said through the project, women have acquired skills in waste management, occupational health and safety, identification of alien weeds and herbicide application, water safety, snake handling, first aid, environmental education and life skills.
“The other direct benefit is that the health of rivers has improved drastically. The Buffalo River project employed 100 women from the rural poor communities around the 17 wards of Amathole District Municipality, including Buffalo City Municipality and Amahlathi Local Municipality, who are involved in the cleaning of solid waste and alien vegetation species along the banks of the Buffalo River.
“It has increased women participation in water resource issues and capacitated them to advocate for behavioural changes and increased caring of rivers and environment in their respective communities,” said Mabudafhasi.
She added that the project has also boosted the self-esteem of women as they are able to provide food for their families. All the women involved in the project are ambassadors including Doreen Mandyundyu, who represented the Buffalo River women in Parliament during the department’s Budget Vote Speech on 14 April 2011.
“There is also positive feedback received from other stakeholders such as SAPS, that since the women started working at the river sites, the incidents of crime at these places have gone down because criminals are no longer able to utilize these sites for their criminal activities and criminal hideouts,” said Mandyundyu.
The Adopt a River project is also aimed at bringing communities on board, and educating them on water resource management and the environment, in order for them to take full responsibility and to be able to make informed decisions.
Mabudafhasi reiterated that South Africa, like many other countries in Africa, is faced with a huge challenge that is likely to become a future threat if water resources are not well managed, protected, used, conserved and developed in a sustainable manner.
She said due to developmental needs, water demand is increasing rapidly but the amount of water remains the same.
“Currently, we are faced with challenges such as water wastage through leaks, polluted rivers, water quality etc. We all know that water is a catalyst for any development, without water there is no life, there will be no development, and there will be manifestation of poverty.
“In order to ensure that there is enough water in our country, we have embarked on various programmes such as Adopt a River War on Leaks 2020 Vision Programme and others,” said Mabudafhasi.
Source: Bua News