Information flows at awareness day in Folweni

Community members enjoy demonstrations of the miniSASS and clarity tube, and learn about the types of invertebrates living in local rivers

The Wise Wayz Water Care project team hosted a community awareness day at Faith Mission Hall in Folweni on Tuesday, 11 April.

The project team is made up of three community volunteer groups – Emvelo Wise and Qondimvelo (based in Folweni) and Rural Community Upliftment (based in Ezimbokodweni).

They have been working to clear streams and water courses of solid waste and invasive alien plants.

These efforts have worked to build a sense of pride within the community, while at the same time building a healthy environment for them as well.

READ ALSO: River clean-up crew get help in pollution fight 

Since 2016, the teams have been funded by AECI, through its Community Education and Development Trust.

“This support has been in the form of training to develop the capacity and understanding of their local environment, as well as develop skills to provide more opportunities to generate sustainable incomes into the future,” said Kirsten Mahood of GroundTruth, who is assisting project members.

Training topics have included invasive alien plant (IAP) identification and herbicide application, environmental monitoring and awareness, first aid and safety, health and environment training.

 

“The funding also provides for protective clothing and equipment, which the teams use for the physical work they are doing to clear solid waste and IAPs from rivers. The awareness event was held to celebrate the work that the teams have already done and raise awareness within the community of the teams’ efforts,” said Mahood.

The day began with presentations, which included singing by the Emvelo singers, as well as a drama depicting the ‘Knock-knock for Knowledge’ community education component of the Wise Wayz Water Care project.

Zilindile Phungulu, Nqobile Mkhize, Gugu Shinga and Londeka Mpofana teach community members about the ‘Knock-knock for Knowledge’ education component of the Wise Wayz Water Care project.

After the formal proceedings were finalised, the community were invited to discover more of the work the teams are doing through interactive demonstration tables set outside the hall.

These tables included demonstrations of miniSASS and information on the invertebrates living in the rivers. This information is used to better understand the condition of the rivers in which the teams work.

There was also a table demonstrating some of the tools used in clearing IAPs, as well as samples of the most common alien plants in the area.

A third table presented excellent examples of how to upcycle and recycle waste that is often discarded, with no thought of how it can be re-used.

Tommy Majola of Folweni shows off beautiful handbags made from recycled rubbish.

One of the most popular tables displayed information on permaculture gardening.

The team at this table also gave demonstrations on how to plant seedlings for a new vegetable garden. Information on crop selection for different seasons in the KwaZulu-Natal region were also offered.

  AUTHOR
Earl Baillache
Journalist

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