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South Africa has a bulk water plan for KZN

“Make sure that you use water more than once so that we can ensure that those (who) are not serviced do get services,” said Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane at the launch of the Bulk Water Supply Scheme in the iLembe District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.She appealed to the beneficiaries of the Lower Tugela Bulk Water Supply Scheme to not only save water, but to reuse it too.

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The R1.32-billion project, which was launched on 22 March, includes the infrastructure required to abstract and treat water from the uThukela River to supply to secondary bulk and reticulation networks within the iLembe District Municipality.These networks will supply both developed and unserved areas. On completion, the scheme will reach a total of 750 000 inhabitants.”As we continue to bring this infrastructure into place, let us ensure that we do not do illegal connections, steal water or destroy infrastructure,” Mokonyane said.She encouraged those who could afford to pay for water services to do so, while those who could not pay should register as unable to pay.”The first phase of the Umgeni component is due for commissioning by May 2016,” she said. “The first phase is designed to produce 55 mega-litres of potable water per day. The design, however, is such that it is relatively easily upgraded to a 110 mega-litre plant.”Some 1 163 job opportunities have been created by the project to date.

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Source: southafrica


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South Africa’s Kosi Bay – The key to successful eco-tourism?

Kosi Bay is a wilderness preservation area nestled up against the border of South Africa and Mozambique. Instead of disinheriting the local Enkovukeni community of their homelands they have been incorporated into the Reserve.
Following on the heels of programs like Chitwan National Park in Nepal that has made an effort to promote local citizens and employees and to allow them to continue traditional practices, Kosi Bay has come a long way towards a peaceful co-existence between park employees and tribal peoples.

Tourists

This appears to be a good response to concerned tourists who feel uncomfortable visiting game parks whose creation has produced internally displaced refugees.
Ilsa, a Swedish tourist, has visited the Kosi Reserve bi-annually since its inception in the 1980s.”Talking to people in this area is very different from other places I have visited in East Africa. Here, there appears to be little resentment towards the conservation authorities. When I visit Kosi Bay I feel good that my holiday is contributing to the development of the local community.”
The Kosi Bay system is a huge area comprised of six large lakes, two smaller lakes and an estuary that lies alongside the Indian Ocean. During the early years of African conquest. the threat of malaria and fly-born stock diseases dissuaded early British and Dutch settlers from developing the area. Consequently, the local inhabitants lived relatively undisturbed for a hundred years or more. When the area was initially made into a reserve there was a lot of conflict between conservation officials and local inhabitants.
In 1982, driven partially by a mutual concern over the declining numbers of mussels along the reserves coast, conservation officials and park inhabitants began to seek a common ground and found it in this: the park inhabitants agreed to follow conservation guidelines for fishing and shellfish collection; in return, 25% of the parks gross revenue would go to the local Tribal Authority. This agreement, plus a 1998 legislation that allows subsistence fishing. has eased tensions greatly.
Today the activities of the locals setting their fish traps has become as much a tourist attraction as snorkeling over the reefs, bird watching and the interactive activities at the Turtle Research Station across the dunes at Banganek.

Miriam

Miriam helps to ferry the harvest of fish through waist deep water and greets a group of interested visitors. “It is nice to see different people interested in us”, she says shyly. “It is good for my family to have the tourists in the area. Once my sons would have been just fishermen like me, but now they are both employed. One is a waiter at a lodge and the other drives a boat for the Parks deparment.”
Miriam’s husband Enoch agrees and claims that the introduction of income from the park has changed their perspective. “Over there,” he says, gesturing towards the Mozambique border with a bloody fish gutting knife, “are people who come here to fish the reefs and cut down out forest trees. Once, we would not have worried about it, but these days we want to protect what is ours. Who is going to come here if our resources are all stolen?”

Co-operation

Constant dialogue must be maintained between the tribe, conservation officials and developers. Until recently Kosi Bay has been a relatively unknown park, but the 1999 incorporation of the park into the new Greater St.Lucia Wetland World Heritage Site has resulted in the construction of additional roads, an airstrip and a large resort which will probably change that.
Growth and development in the area is part of the conservation authorities’ policy. The KZN Wildlife Department has stated that it “recognizes that Nature Conservation can play an important role in the development of sustainable livelihoods.”
Indeed, the Conservation Board, non-governmental departments, local communities and other interested parties have input regarding the future. As Jeff Gaisford, at that time in the KwaZulu Conservation Media Division pointed out, “Part of the new KZN conservation act involves the creation of local conservation boards designed to give local interest a greater say in the management of our protected areas. We have a few up and running already, but they now include representatives from local rural communities and local businesses, as well as affected NGOs – so these are not purely community run. Our aim is to have all our parks with a local board and where it is not possible to have one board per park, we aim at board managing a group of smaller parks. This is in addition to the KNZ Nature Conservation Board that is the governing board of the entire organisation and is the “Big Brother” so to speak.”
Park development has already changed the local landscape. Many locals who would normally have moved away from the area now opt to stay. Already, there is evidence along the roadside of enterprising locals catering to the tourist trade. Utilizing local resources on a controlled and sustainable basis, craft shops have been set up.
However, cracks in the system of actually policing the private developers are becoming evident. Stalls selling firewood, cut from the fragile sand forest in the area, line the road for miles.
In a December 2002 press release, the KZN wildlife staff in the Kosi Bay area reported “a significant increase in the number of young animals and birds being offered for sale on roadsides.” This could be an indicator that locals are turning away from subsistence fishing and are becoming absorbed into a consumer society.
The close border with Mozambique is causing some concern. In 2006, fifteen Mozambique nationals were arrested five nautical miles off Kosi Bay. Their vessel, the Twanano was apprehended by the Marine and Coastal Management maritime protection services.
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Placing a value of wildlife conservation is vital to the survival of conservation in Africa. Educating tribal landowners has helped to limit land degradation and even financially benefitted displaced tribes. In a landmark court decision handed out in July 2002, a portion of the nearby Ndumo Game Reserve was handed back to the descendants of the original tribal people. They opted to allow the KNZ Wildlife Department to continue to manage the land.
However, this beggars the question: If the conservation of biodiversity is to become commercial in order to pay out all interested parties, will the focus move away from conservation and lean towards the “Pack the Tourists In” syndrome?
In the summer edition of the KZN Wildlife Magazine, editor David Muirhead indicated the trend may already be happening. He pointed out that conservation must be “made to pay for its keep” and the only way to do this is to “maximize” income from tourists. Over a ten year period accommodation within the Kosi Reserve grew from ten simple campsites to include luxury lodges which now sleep in excess of 180 people per night.
With the additional tourists, an increase in population on reserve fringes and pressure from developers, it may be more difficult for the hard-won co-operation to continue. Until then Kosi Bay seems to be an unusual example of sustainable tourism that works.

Source: the-newshub


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South Africa: Water Rationing Kicks Off in Some KZN Municipalities

Sunday was the first day that water rationing kicked in at a number of municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to conserve water resources in the province.

The drought is the worst that has been experienced by the province since 1992, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said.

Dube-Ncube last week warned that the province was suffering water shortages and that mandatory water conservation measures would have to be implemented.

eThekwini Municipality (Durban and surrounds); Ilembe (Stanger, Ballito, Ndwedwe); uThungulu (Richards Bay, uMfolozi) and Mtubatuba will be most affected.

In a statement released on Sunday, Dube-Ncube said: “Today some municipalities will commence with radical water rationing programmes as part of managing the available water resources.

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“Water rationing means that water production will be reduced and, as a result of this water reduction, less water will be supplied to municipalities. This will have a knock-on effect on consumers who will be given a set of amount of water per day once the water quantum allocated to households is consumed, there will be no water available until the following day when a new amount is allocated.”

The northern areas of eThekwini and the southern areas of Illembe, which are supplied by Hazelmere Dam, are expected to be the worst affected.

Last week Dube-Ncube said Hazelmere Dam had a mere two months supply of water remaining if restrictions were not implemented.

“We require major changes in policy and consumer behaviour to manage the current water crisis in our province. Today, not tomorrow, is the time to begin to change the way we treat water by conserving every drop,” she said.

“Water rationing timetables will be issued on a weekly basis and consumers and municipalities are urged to take note of water allocations available and use water sparingly. The less prudent we are with water, the higher the risk of water shortages we will face,” said Dube-Ncube.

Source: allafrica


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Drought tightens grip on KZN

Durban – The drought in KwaZulu Natal has reached a “critical” stage and there are fears the province might not have enough water to last consumers into the summer.

The dry conditions first hit in October 2013 when the province received below-average rains, and have persisted since.

Umgeni Water’s Shami Harichunder said they had implemented emergency schemes in hard-hit areas, such as the 7.5km pipeline which pumped water from the uThongathi River into the Hazelmere Dam, on the North Coast, but they could not guarantee people would have

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enough water until the spring rains came.

“Water resources were already under stress before the drought hit. So people need to accept that we are short of water and change consumption patterns,” he said.

The uThongathi pipeline supplies 8 million to 10 million litres a day to the dam, but Harichunder said that only delayed the dam’s running out of water by two months because water could not be treated once the dam level reached 20%.

On Friday the level was at a critical 36% and the South Coast system, which consists of the Nungwane, E J Smith and Umzinto dams, had also fallen well below capacity.

Umgeni’s chief executive, Cyril Gamede, said only the Umgeni System had shown resilience because of its design.

Its dams, which include Midmar, Inanda and Albert Falls, did not fall below 50% at any stage.

On Sunday Inanda Dam was 95% full.

“The Umgeni system is designed for a one-in-100-years drought while the others were designed for a one-in-50-years drought because of smaller dams,” he said.

He said the water restrictions would hold on the North and South coasts and there was a possibility that they could be tightened.

“This is the worst drought we’ve had in 20 years and the prognosis is that it may continue for longer. We might be heading the same direction as California (in the US), but for now we are optimistic that rains will come in a few months,” said Gamede.

California is in the grip of a severe drought, now in its fourth year. A drought state of emergency was declared by Governor Jerry Brown in January. A previous drought, starting in 1986, lasted seven years.

Both Gamede and Harichunder stressed that water management by municipalities and consumers was the best solution to balance supply with growing demand.

Umgeni is asking for a 30% decrease in consumption, but that could soon be increased.

“Replacing ageing infrastructure and attending to leaks is imperative. We are investigating other solutions such as desalination and reclamation, but those are not immediate solutions,” said Harichunder.

Objections from residents and environmental groups could delay a proposed desalination plant in Tongaat.

“A reclamation pilot study is under way at our Darvill Waste Water Plant (in Pietermaritzburg), but the initiative is going to need an intensive information campaign because people’s psychology towards recycled water needs to change,” said Gamede.

Source: iol


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