Ikusasa Sustainable Community Development, a division of the AIDS Foundation of South Africa in partnership with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (cogta) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Morrice Web Race Relations Unit) is conducting ongoing dialogues for the KwaZulu-Natal district municipalities targeting the province’s rural communities. The dialogues come after the province was declared a disaster area due to the impact caused by climate change and which have led the province particularly the rural areas to increased risk of drought.
In a programme funded by the British High Commission (UK Prosperity Fund) the dialogues are aiming at raising the awareness and educating rural communities that are most affected by drought in KwaZulu-Natal on the importance of protecting the environment in their communal lands.
Speaking on behalf of Ikusasa, Ntando Khuzwayo, said “climate change is the most significant threat to global food security and it is affecting the poor, who have contributed least to its causes, our role as an independent organisation is to make sure that we empower rural communities by way of education and provide resources and solutions as to how these communities can fight the climate change impact”, Khuzwayo said.
Khuzwayo further explained that all the issues araised by the communities from these dialogues will be noted and submitted to the relevant government departments, he added.
More than 80 dialogues across the province have been conducted since October 2015 to various communities. The four districts that have benefited from the programme include eThekwini, Ugu, Umgungundlovu, and the Harry Gwala districts municipalities.
Various traditional councils and the communities have benefited immensely from the programme which in most cases included traditional leaders (Amakhosi). During these talks communities showed that there were similar environmental impacts leading to climate change within the communities and that the natural resources lacked management in comparable manners.
Mbongiseni Nhlangulela, a traditional council member (Induna) of Emangwaneni area in Bulwer said, the common issues faced by most rural communities include illegal sand mining, alien and invasive plants which impact water supply, bush pigs (hogs) which have a negative impact on local subsistence farming. The loss of Indigenous plants also has contributed to communities being affected by climate change, Nhlangulela explained.
The dialogues are ongoing and are expected to be completed by the end of March 2016.
On 12 February 2016 the KwaZulu-Natal (kzn) Department of Social Development in collaboration with the AIDS Foundation SA and IDT as implementing agencies gathered in Mansiya area (Umkhanyakude district municipality) to conduct a site handover. The visit to the community aimed at introducing the construction company (Mandlafo Trading CC) appointed to build a new structure of Lindokuhle children’s crèche.
Members of the community including parents and the local traditional council members came in numbers to witness the event and welcomed the project. With the project expected to commence on 23 February 2016 and likely to be completed by the end of August 2016, community members were overwhelmed that the children will now have a conducive environment and that the project will bring employment opportunities to the unemployed youth from the surrounding areas of Mansiya community.
Speaking on behalf of the community Ms Hlengiwe Nkosi, a local ward councillor said the current structure of Lindokuhle crèche is not suitable for children as it is leaking during rainfall and do not have the facilities and or resources that are child-friendly. The classes are too small and do not accommodate the number of children coming to the crèche, she said.
“As the Mansiya community we are pleased that finally our children will have an equipped, safe and secure structure that will house the 41 registered children and we are hoping that once the project is completed this will attract more parents to bring their children to the crèche,” Nkosi explained.
The overall project of the Early Childhood Development Structures is implemented in the other two district municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, this includes uGu district and Zululand district municipalities.
AFSA would like to thank Espressodbn for their contribution in the design and layout of afsa’s 2015/2016 annual report. We appreciate the excellent service which was offered to us at no cost, The annual report covers the work and activities of the organisation and also highlight the organisation’s financial performance. This will be distributed to the funded Community Based Organisations and Non-profit Organisations across the country.
We once again thank Espressodbn from the bottom of our hearts for this wonderful donation.
AFSA would like to thank Mr. Chris Dwen of Super Spuds for his generous donation of 1400 bags of certified seed potatoes to Ikusasa division of the AIDS Foundation of South Africa. These potatoes have been distributed to the Ikusasa’s food security community projects for cultivation. Ikusasa also supplied a consignment of seed potatoes to the Farmer Support Group at UKZN for a study, commissioned by the AIDS Foundation SA, to evaluate the cultivation of potatoes in earth bags. The generous donation made by Super Spuds will contribute significantly to the reduction of food insecurity in the targeted communities.
Site visits have been conducted to all the targeted communities in KZN as a form of monitoring, and to assess the impacts of the drought on these potatoes, most of them are flourishing but the water scarcity has had a huge impact on the programme and these cultivars. This project is a great initiative towards food security as potatoes are a super food filled with nutritional value and is beneficial to the communities that are really struggling economically. The potatoes have been planted and it is an on-going process of monitoring and evaluating progress in the different regions around KwaZulu-Natal.