Durban faces coastal inundation and storm surges related to sea level rise, hotter temperatures and heat waves, changed rainfall and storm patterns, slum flooding and reduced drinking water supplies due to climate change. Local policy initiatives rely for effectiveness on awareness and capacity regarding climate change risks and adaptive responses in civil society. South Africa is implementing watershed committees or “catchment management agencies” (CMAs) to decentralize decision-making and create a framework for integrating the needs of all stakeholders in water governance. Grounded participatory research leading to accessible public education and responsive community-based programs with civil society organizations are needed to help address significant water governance challenges.

Civil Society Partners

South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA)

the right to Know,
the duty to Inquire,
the obligation to Act.

South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) is an environmental justice organization based in south Durban. It is made up of 16 affiliate organizations, and it has been active since its formation in 1996. It is considered successful for many reasons, one of which is that it is a vocal and vigilant grouping in terms of lobbying, reporting and researching industrial incidents and accidents in this area. It contributes to the struggle against Environmental Racism for Environmental Justice and Environmental Health.

Umphilo waManzi

Umphilo waManzi, roughly translated as Water is Life, was formed as a section 21 non profit organisation in September 2008. Umphilo’s principles and approach: 

  • Umphilo’s focus is to highlight local realities as the basis to inform decisions at higher levels.  Although grounded in the local, recognise the political context.  Aim to make broader conceptual linkages and impact on the power structures. 
  • Umphilo seeks to be accountable to people work with.  (Draw together groups work with per campaign to discuss collective and individual work, through this process build sense of engagement, joint guidance of where org should be going to.) 
  • Strategy of engaging “inside” and “outside” as appropriate and effective for the issue at hand. Attempt dialogue to change mindsets and advocacy, but need critical action.  We will act against leadership if no action. 
  • Open to interacting with all stakeholders but not partner with organisations that advance a neo liberal agenda or do not share our basic values.   
  • Aims to act as a catalyst for change, not implementing actual development programmes. 
  • Aim to facilitate/ open channels of communication and act against gatekeeping. 
  • Openness to public review and scrutiny.  
  • Work with like minded organisations/ people and build and not duplicate efforts. 
  • Umphilo’s work is informed by its strategic direction and priorities. 
  • Umphilo is a water entity but recognises and engages with the interrelatedness of sectors. 
  • Attention to inter generational issues. 
  • Independent.