This project’s Second Annual Meeting was held in Durban, South Africa and Maputo, Mozambique in August 2011
This meeting provided an opportunity for project partners to discuss their contributions to date and to identify and discuss goals for the continuation of the project. In addition, partners had a chance to fine-tune the project’s methodology, and compare notes on climate change, water governance, and related community-based initiatives in each of the three cities. The meeting was coordinated by the project coordinator, Patricia Figueiredo Walker and the field visits were organized by Umphilo waManzi and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), in Durban, and Justiça Ambiental (JA) and Women, Gender and Development (MuGeDe) in Maputo.
The objectives of this meeting were to:
- Provide an opportunity for project partners to present an overview of what they have accomplished during the past year;
- Report on how the partnerships between academic and NGO partners are working;
- Report on the involvement of students;
- Provide an opportunity for each student to present on their projects and receive feedback from the team;
- Discuss the preparation of new students for the student exchange trips;
- Report on the team’s progress in meeting the project’s overall goals
- Discuss lessons learned and challenges faced;
- Discuss and revise the budget to better assist in the implementation of the project; and
- Discuss the team’s goals and aims for the next year
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
On August 16, 2011 twenty-three project partners, including NGO representatives, academics, and students visited a community meeting in Mzinyathi, KwaZulu-Natal, where twenty-five community members (13 women and 12 men) gathered to discuss climate change and water issues in their communities.
This meeting was organized by Umphilo waManzi, a project partner, and facilitated by Dudu Khumalo and Dr. Mary Galvin. This year, Umphilo waManzi has organized and facilitated a number of community-based workshops in four local communities—Umzinyathi, Hammersadale, Umbumbulu, and Ntuzuma/ Piesang—with the aim of facilitating engagement of local residents with municipalities around climate change adaptation and water.
Project partners had an opportunity to listen to one representative from each community on their understanding of climate change and water, as well as how current challenges are being addressed in their respective communities.
Following their presentations, community members had a chance to relate their experiences to that of project partners living in Maputo, Mozambique and Nairobi, Kenya. Several partners spoke of similar climate change and water-related issues in their home countries and offered examples of how these are being addressed by innovative community-based initiatives funded by this project.
Following this community meeting, project partners visited households with rainwater harvesting installations and urine diversion (UD) toilets, as well as wetlands where concerns over flood plain developments were discussed.
In the afternoon, project partners went on a Toxic Tour of South Durban, led by the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, another project partner.
The group’s first stop was a lookout above Wentworth, a low-income neighbourhood of Durban. There, the group heard from Bongani Mthembu—an air quality/GIS officer at SDCEA—about air and water pollution, as well as health concerns faced by local residents as a result of pollution by a Sapref oil refinery and a Mondi paper and packaging plant located in this neighbourhood.
Next, community members visited Settlers Primary School, also located in Wentworth, where a large number of students suffer from asthma and are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of pollution by local industry.
Following this visit, partners visited the Bluff Nature Reserve, where underground oil pipelines are leaking, forcing housing to be abandoned and makeshift monitoring wells to be installed in the area.
On August 18, 2011 project partners visited Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique’s oldest university. There, they heard from Francisca Caetano, an undergraduate environmental education student, who is conducting research on rainfed agriculture. As part of her research, Francisca is interviewing local residents who use the university campus to plant rainfed crops.
Following this visit, partners went to the local beach, where sea level rise and storms are causing erosion along Maputo’s Indian Ocean coastline. The group also visited what used to be a mangrove and is now a construction site. Mangroves all over the city are being destroyed for new development along Maputo Bay.
From the beach, the group continued on to Polana Caniço, a low-income neighbourhood, where residents have been severely impacted by flooding and erosion. There, the team listened to Ester Uamba, another Eduardo Mondlane University undergraduate student, who is currently conducting research in this area.
Next, the group went to another low-income neighbourhood, where Neima Adamo, a third undergraduate student, spoke about her research project on water and sanitation.
Following this visit, the group went to Eduardo Mondlane Secondary School, where Justiça Ambiental, a project partner, teaches environmental education to grade eight students. Students spoke about the program, performed songs, danced, and recited poems about water and the environment.
Following this refreshing presentation, the team went to Mapfumo district, where MuGeDe, another project partner, works with community members to strengthen their role in water sector governance. There the group attended a community meeting with the local chief and elders, who briefly spoke about climate change and water-related issues in their communities.