To build a South Africa in which all enjoy safe and affordable water and sanitation that contribute to good health and productive livelihoods
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Our Community Involvement Initiatives
The Mvula Trust is a corporate citizen and our existence is inspired by community development to address socio – economic challenges many of our people face everyday. We make sure that we participate in programmes that are meant to drive change and contribute to the upliftment of humanity.
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Date: 27 July 2016
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The partnership between The Mvula Trust and Limpopo Department of Education (LDoE) continues to deliver decent sanitation to schools in the province.
The MEC for Education, Mr. Ishmael Kgetjepe, accompanied by the acting Head of Department, Ms Ndiambani Beauty Mutheiwana, led a sod-turning ceremony on Friday, 11 September 2015 at Klaas Mothapo Secondary School, Ga- Mothapo village.
MEC Kgetjepe used the event to announce the department’s plan to roll out sanitation programmes in 26 schools across the province. Addressing attendees in Northern Sotho, Kgetjepe emphasized and reiterated the importance of sanitation in schools, and how it could assist to prevent the spread of diseases, not only amongst learners, but in the communities at large.
The current sanitation facilities at the school are dilapidated and pose safety and health hazards to the learners. The project will include the building of new modern ablution facilities suitable and conducive for provision of safe environment – and it will also include provision of water system at the school.
In addition, Chief Executive Officer of the Mvula Trust, Mr. Silas Mbedzi lauded efforts made by MEC Kgetjepe to wipe out sanitation backlog in the schools. He concluded by sharing his experiences regarding sanitation problems around the world.
“Few weeks ago I was in Sweden, Stockholm where I was attending the World Water Week Conference. It is said that millions of people in India relieve themselves in the bushes due to lack of sanitation facilities,” said Mbedzi.
Boasting more than 20 years of impressive record in delivering successful water and sanitation projects in the rural and peri-urban areas of South Africa, the Mvula Trust has been assigned with responsibility to spearhead the implementation of this task at the Klaas Mothapo Secondary School.
The event was graced by, amongst other community leaders, Kgoshigadi of the Bakgaga ba Mothapo and also Member of Parliament, Ms Madipoane Refiloe Moremadi Mothapo.
The project is expected to start immediately and it will be expedited to ensure that learners receive value from this investment.
It is undeniably true that majority of rural households in South Africa continue to live in abject poverty on daily basis. In an effort to tackle this scourge, former President Thabo Mbeki once posed a question to residents in one of the rural villages: “How are you using water to be economically active?”
Research conducted by a non – governmental organisation called the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) in 13 villages in the Bushbuckridge area showed that where villagers had more water, economic activities of many poor households in the village increased twice. Typical examples of activities included brick making, drinking water for livestock, small businesses such as hair salons, home beer brewing, and ice making as well as backyard or community gardens.
Provision of water enhances local economic development and people’s livelihood – making significant contribution towards community upliftment. In addition, it helps households to generate income, especially when there is a gap in the market for locally produced goods.
Food security and income: A case study of Ms Matshepo Khumbane
The organisation called International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in partnership with Water for Food Movement (WfFM) studied the food production practices of Ms Matshepo Khumbane at her home near the town of Cullinan, located in the north eastern part of Tshwane Metro during 2002 winter season. In their study, IWMI discovered that Ms Khumbane produced almost a ton of vegetables on her small plot, which was laid out in such a way that it led rainwater directly into the vegetable beds every time it rained. In terms of value, Matshepo could sell and earn approximately R2 000 to buy maize meal for her household for the next six months.
She produced even more vegetables in summer, diffusing a notion that backyard gardens were no longer irrelevant.
The importance of rainwater harvesting
There are several sources of water and technologies that can be used to make additional water supply to households. Rainwater harvesting is one of those techniques that is gaining popularity again, after it was neglected for a longer period.
More than 60 different methods of rainwater harvesting are used in East African countries. There are, however, three most popular ways of harvesting rainwater in South Africa:
- To lead rainwater directly into trenched vegetable beds in the backyard.
- To build underground water tanks in the yard to catch and store rainwater for later use. People can build these underground tanks with cement blocks or other materials themselves.
- To channel water in the maize fields into earth semi-circles or bunds, called ‘in-field rainwater harvesting structures’- so that rainwater is concentrated onto the crops. These methods can be used to provide water to households for different purposes.
MUS as a solution to water supply: A case study of Bushbuckridge Local Municipality
In 2005, the Association of Water and Rural Development (AWARD) piloted the implementation of multiple use system (MUS) in Ward 16 of the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality in Limpopo. AWARD used a community-based organisational approach model and worked with closely with, among others, the former Departments of Water Affairs and now Department of Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, and Social Development. This process comprised participatory assessment of water-based livelihoods, water services and water resources available in the local villages.
This approach was known as Securing Water to Enhance Local Livelihoods (SWELL). Based on the assessment, a joint planning process was followed.
Immediate refurbishment of infrastructure was prioritised.
Funds were allocated from the Integrated Development Plan to refurbish the water infrastructure.
One of the sources of water identified was small earth dams for cattle. Many of these dams had silted up. Residents resorted to domestic water systems to provide drinking water for their livestock. In response to this challenge, the Department of Agriculture committed to clean up the dams and residents put anti-erosion measures in place to prevent dams from silting again. Rainwater harvesting was also identified as one of sources that required possible exploration.
The pilot project was used to focus on the implementation and monitoring, working closely with the stakeholders, not only to solve water problems in the area – but also to use the project as a trial with a view to improve the Integrated Development Plan as well as water planning and implementation.
The Mvula Trust has, over the years, piloted and refined its implementation of the Community Based Organisational Approach Model informed by a number of sound principles.
The model focuses on a community management approach through which a local water committee plays a key role in the implementation of a water project.
Our approach for implementation of projects ensures that:
Thorough feasibility studies in technical, social, institutional and financial assessments to ensure the overall viability of proposed projects.
Participatory project planning, where all stakeholders as well as local government and community representatives participate in key decision making.
Decision making is focused on the appointment of legal water services provider (WSP), level of service, choice of technology and roles and responsibilities of service providers.
A holistic project design that addresses all components necessary for sustainability including community needs; choosing appropriate technology ; health and hygiene practices; institutional capacity building; cost recovery, and effective operations and maintenance.
A construction phase that focuses on community awareness, local capacity building, entrepreneurial skills development, and use of local labour.
Operations and Maintenance (O&M) mentoring phase ensures that:
The water service provider has the necessary capacity to effectively fulfil its functions of operations and maintenance, revenue collection, customer relations, monitoring and reporting.
Support mechanisms are in place.
Health and hygiene promotion continues within the community.
Development of partnerships between local government, the community and water services institutions
A monitoring and evaluation phase where information is used to take any corrective action needed.
According to the statistics provided by the Department of Water Affairs (now Department of Water and Sanitation), 1.6 million people in South Africa did not have access to formal water supplies in 2010.
Although these figures may have significantly changed since then, the actual backlog of water supply in the rural areas, among others, is caused by operational and maintenance issues.
This phenomenon continues to happen despite significant investment and interventions by government to provide citizens with clean drinking water.
Our Community Based Organisational Approach Model has been tried and tested in many of our projects we implemented in rural areas across the country.
In addition, The Mvula Trust boasts an international reputation for advancing community based management of water and other developmental projects.