Our rangeland project is widespread along with all projects conducted by ERS. Rangeland Management looks at the balance and sustainability of the soil, vegetation, water, and landscape ecosystems. ERS implements the rangeland projects within five traditional authoritative areas namely Makhoba, Mzongwana, Sibi, Nkosana/Mafube, and George Moshoeshoe. In order to achieve rangeland management, ERS has conservation agreements with 20 rangeland associations in which there is a guideline of compliance and incentives for goodwill.
In order to sustain the rangeland, rangeland associations within the traditional areas have to compile a full duration of rested areas, monitor cleared areas (after wattle clearing), and upkeep waste management within their areas.
The benefits and Incentives provided by ERS are:
- Provision of local cattle mobile auctions through Meat Naturally (MNP) at any time of the year, provided a minimum of 100 cattle are on offer from different villages. All signed compliant members of the grazing associations pay 6% on commission from sales, while non-compliant and non-members of the association pay 8% commission on sales.
- Grazing associations receive vaccinations.
- Fire awareness training, financial literacy training, and other committee skills (capacity building, etc)
- Basic Livestock Husbandry training for owners and herders.
The desired outcome of the conservation agreements is lifelong healthy rangelands and a sustainable economic community through the health and sales of livestock.
In the 2022 -2023 season, ERS has reached 10 village–based associations and vaccinated a total of 2398 cattle and 1619 sheep. The long-term effort to vaccinate animals is to endue animal and rangeland health and productivity. Along with the vaccinations, in 2022-2023 ERS together with MNP hosted five auctions across the associations.
Integrating WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) with the rangeland management work is very important, it ensures that any threats to the quality of water or land are addressed, and healthy hygienic practices are promoted and practiced in these communities. Raising awareness about WASH, waste management and sanitation is very important, and this is an ongoing element of healthy rangeland.
Our WASH initiatives have been integrated throughout all projects in ERS. It is imperative that we speak boldly about the importance of access to water, sanitation, and hygiene. One of the main issues encountered within the catchment was the disposal of waste, and more specifically disposable diapers. Our mission is to educate communities on various ways to reduce waste within their areas and be aware of the impacts of waste near water sources.