The problems of water security and sanitation facing some of the more rural communities in the Eastern Cape are dire and long standing. The 7000 inhabitants of the rural villages of Nkasela and Nchodu, part of the traditional communal area of Sibi, located just north of the town of Matatiele , rely predominantly on captured rain water, as well as groundwater from springs for their water supply. A borehole scheme developed in 2007 is not functional due to no maintanance by the District Water Service Authority.
Through the combined efforts of the CocaCola company, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and Environmental & Rural Solutions (ERS), we hope to address some of the problems faced in the Sibi area. With funding procured through RAIN, WWF acting as the main implementing partner, and ERS doing the groundwork, the three hope to improve clean water access by protecting and securing up to 2000 ha of montane grassland in the watershed.
The aim is to accomplish this through facilitating improved governance and land use practices in the region. This will secure the ecological infrastructure for sustained replenishment of basal flows, and strengthen rural livelihoods and water security. Core activities to be carried out over the course of the project will be;
Protection of local springs :
Work will be done to address threats to water security. This will be done by combating contamination risks, and restoring flow by the strategic clearing of upstream alien vegetation.
2. Support for livestock management : Activities here include improving livestock owner's husbandry, reinstating grazing associations, developing grazing plans with seasonal conservation agreements and providing incentives like mobile auctions for improved livestock.
3. Alien plant clearing : Clearing activities will be conducted after the proper training, equipping, and incentivising of local teams has been completed. The aim being to effectively target areas with the highest return for replenishment and maintanance.
4. Monitoring and management : Physical trends and social issues that arise in responce to the project interventions will be monitored to ensure successful project implementation and handover.
The Coca-Cola Company, through its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), hopes to provide some relief in this community and others like it, through project interventions. Coca-Cola hopes to accomplish the following through their projects;
The project will be carried out in 15-month period and will recruit up to 50 people to conduct project activities. The project team consisting of 40 general workers, , 8 Ecorangers and 2 water monitors each with their assigned roles and responsibilities. In line with CocaCola’s project mandates, local labour will be recruited for the project activities and up to 55 percent of the labour will consist of women. Furthermore, to ensure project success, community liaison and facilitation will form an integral part of the project activities, and all activities will be mobilized around the needs and gaps identified by the community.