Community-Based Work

KwaNovuka Community

The community of KwaNovuka is located in the Impendle Municipal area near the town of Dargle. Within this area is the Impendle Vlei which is the source of the uMngeni River that supplies water to millions of people that live in this catchment. Surrounding the wetland area are commercial farms and communal areas where community members engage in various agricultural activities including stock farming. A few local organisations have been active in working with the commercial farmers to partake in land management activities such as the removal of invasive alien vegetation and grassland rehabilitation. However, there has been limited engagement with the community of KwaNovuka to understand their needs as well as how they would like to participate in the protection of this important resource.

Since 2020, SANBI has been engaging the KwaNovuka community with a view to understand how the community interacts with the landscape , what their challenges are, what their priorities are and,  what role the Impendle Vlei and surrounding grasslands play in their lives (socially, economically, spiritually). Through this iterative process, the need was identified for the youth to be empowered to look after their own environment, learn from the elders (thereby passing down indigenous knowledge) and develop a plan for looking after the landscape.  Under the EI4WS Project and Amanzi Ethu Nobuntu programme, a team of 10 Enviro-Champs have been trained on various aspects including using citizen science tools for biomonitoring and wetland monitoring. They are using the knowledge they are gaining through the project to conduct education and awareness with the community, cattle counting and establishing community gardens.