The eThekwini Municipality, in association with local community gardeners and NGO’s is currently establishing an integrated welfare, agriculture, youth development, eco-tourism and environmental restoration development at the decommissioned KwaDabeka Waste Water Treatment Works. Here, the ACT agriculture team are establishing a community food garden of approximately 3 hectares, using permaculture design principles. This garden will accommodate existing growers who have been on the site for several years, as well as possibly new gardeners. KwaDabeka, as a township, is uniquely situated close to a number of major highways, and its topographical location lends itself to being a successful urban farming hub. A permaculture allotment farm will have far reaching positive effects on the township and surrounding communities.
As part of its Municipal Climate Protection programme, the eThekwini Municipality has been implementing a Community Reforestation Programme. The projects involve a collaborative effort between the eThekwini Municipality, NGO’s and local communities in the restoration of indigenous forests at 3 sites: Buffelsdraai Landfill Site, Inanda Mountain and Paradise Valley. Through these projects, opportunities are created for community upliftment, jobs and local livelihood improvement, whilst establishing natural “carbon sinks” and restoring biodiversity. The Community Reforestation Programme continues to contribute towards mitigating climate change and increasing local resilience.
The African Conservation Trust implemented the Sustainable Livelihoods, food production and value adding phase of this intervention in 2016-2017. The project provided training to community members in food production and established homestead food gardens in accordance with ecological agriculture principles. It also explored value-adding and entrepreneurial activities in order to promote the generation of long term sustainable incomes.
The project included a number of activities:
- Provide accredited Agro-Ecological training to 50 micro-farmers
- Assist these farmers to develop gardens, with mentorship for remainder of project
- Pay-it-Forward: Beneficiaries then assist a further 5 to 10 micro-farmers in their community to develop their own gardens
- Explore and promote entrepreneurial activities: bee-keeping training, value-adding and promotion of links to markets
Projects funded by, and implemented in partnership with, the eThekwini Municipality (Environmental Planning & Climate Protection Department)