DEA NRM

Project Background

Lima-ERS JV manage 152 participants across two sites, in two quaternaries (T33A and T31C) in the Matatiele Local Municipality, Alfred Nzo District of the upper north eastern uMzimvuvu catchment. LIMA is the signatory with DEA, and has a JV agreement with ERS for implementation, through their ERS office based in Matatiele.

Work commenced at the Mzongwana site in early August 2018, with 95 participants divided into 5 clearing teams (sixteen people each) and an ecoranger team of thirteen. Work commenced at the Nkosana-Mafube site in October 2018, with 57 participants divided into 3 clearing teams and 1 ecoranger team of eight. A huge highlight is the production of a short 5 minute movie funded by RMB and WWF-SA about the work in the catchment securing water and livelihoods. Please see the youtube clip on this link.

To date 18 WIMS contracts have been generated and completed; 8 have been reported and captured into WIMS and another 4 contracts awaiting to be couriered to DEA provincial for capture, based on task verification forms submitted, with 6 First Phase Quotation packages submitted and being worked on currently thus in total 18 WIMS contracts have been generated for both Nkosana-Mafube and Mzongwana.


Some group members

Due to a limited budget, few beneficiaries are chosen to attend a 5 day Veld assessment NQF 4 accredited training . The purpose of this training is to capacitate field personnel to understand and monitor veld more effectively. Project Coordinators, First Aiders, SHE Representatives, Team Leaders and Supervisors were provided with Healthy and Safety awareness support by Regional Health and Safety officer Mr Nakisane to ensure that Safety is treated as first priority for this project and also to make sure incidents are avoided.


Rangelands and Enterprise Development

Five grazing areas totalling 288ha are being rested across the two sites this season, with signed conservation agreements between Associations and ERS: these areas are monitored by the Ecorangers , and are linked to veld condition and compliance monitoring, with auction commissions linked with compliance. With the support of the Meat Naturally auction system, which has already has benefitted over 350 households in the Matatiele area since 2016, both Mafube and Mzongwana shall be having further auctions . Beneficiaries who are livestock owners are using wages and auction income to reinvest and buy heifers during auctions, showing further benefits for the beneficiaries to sustain their livelihoods. Restoration of cleared areas is vital to sustaining the rangeland-based agricultural economy of the area.
Due to the high level of rainfall this year, resprouting of seed is extensive in cleared areas: there is need to tackle follow-up to make sure it does not reach a stage where it will be difficult to handle therefore the 21 Ecorangers are assisting with follow up work and keeping livestock out of agreed rest areas, which include previously cleared areas, until the regrowth is sufficient to sustain some grazing and trampling, helping with overall rangeland restoration . Over 135 ha are now sufficiently recovered from dense infestation to support controlled grazing (since 2015 work started in Mzongwana and Mafube areas). However the number of Ecorangers is not sufficient to tackle both old and newly cleared areas therefore there will be need to add some follow up work for clearing teams task during field verification task request to make sure that we are clearing what we can manage to maintain. Most follow up is manual, but where prudent and safe the herbicide is used.

Challenges

Monitoring

Veld recovery monitoring is taking place on rested and non-rested areas at Mzongwana and Mafube, as part of a wider catchment restoration monitoring process with the Umzimvubu Catchment Partnership (UCP). Monitoring Biomass, Species composition and Biodiversity is based on the Veld training by ALUT, and will be complimented by and mapping of areas where we are going to monitor recovery post-clearing and downstream wetlands. Soil health indicators are being developed and samples are being taken, along with using Citizen science tools, as part of a wider M&E protocol being developed for theUCP.