Awareness Campaigns

Water and Environment Management Campaigns (WEMAC)

KOBWA has an annual programme of creating awareness of water management and environment management issues to sensitize primary and high school Learners in the Komati Basin, not only about the value of water and the environment but the risk it presents as well. KOBWA believes that there is no better way to entrench good conduct in people than at their youthful stage hence the theme of the program is Lugotjwa Lusemanti=Catch Them Young. These campaigns promote the protection, considerate utilization and sound management of natural resources. The activities are in the form of schools contesting against each other in debates, quiz, prose and in poetry with themes on water and environmental issues.


With this campaign, KOBWA inculcates in youth, the appreciation of our valuable but limited natural resources. Despite being the custodians of the future, the youth is a constituency that is usually forgotten by the various drives for sustainable natural resources utilization. It is envisaged that, with a good understanding of water and the natural environment, good practices in resources utilization and protection shall follow. This shall translate to reduction of land degradation, longer reservoir operational life, good quality water, protected biodiversity and fewer disputes; among many other benefits. To KOBWA, that will be a good start.

 

KOBWA PILOTS COMMUNITY EDUCATORS PROGRAM IN SOUTH AFRICA

In response to prevailing dry conditions and the scarcity of rainfall. KOBWA initiated a community sensitization program whereby communities were educated about climate change and its adverse consequences which are extreme drought and extreme rain. Communities were urged to adopt water-saving habits and use water that is enough for a task at hand and also reuse water for other chores such as cleaning. The Communities that were engaged were; Driekoppies, Middelplaas; Schulzendal, Buffelspruit, Jeppes Reef and Schoemansdal.

 

This was also an opportunity for KOBWA representatives to garner sentiments that communities have about KOBWA. The outcomes are phenominal, in general, communities appreciated KOBWA’s inter-personal engagement, they also learnt more about KOBWA’s mandate. The KOBWA Community Educators are; Zandile Lindiwe Thwala, Fikile Charlene Shongwe, Martin Zweli Mhlanga, Bongani Silence Ngomane, Nkosing’phile Shabangu and Nombulelo Charity Mashabane. A similar exercise will be conducted on the Swaziland side of KOBWA’s area of operation.

                    

 

 

The Anti-Illegal Net Fishing Awareness Campaign

The Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) experiences illegal fishing activities at the Driekoppies Dam in Schoemansdal. This illicit activity has dire implications on the sustainable survival of the aquatic life of the two Dams.


In a bid to control this illegal practice, KOBWA ran an awareness campaign for communities that surround the Driekoppies Dam. The following Stakeholders normally collaborate with KOBWA in executing this exercise; the Department of Water Affairs; Department-Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration; Nkomazi Local Municipality and the Matsamo Traditional Authority. 


The theme of the last campaign was;

Stop Illegal Net Fishing: It destroys the Environment/Yekela Kudoba Ngelinethi Ngalokungekho Emtsetfweni: Kubulala Imvelo.

 

 

THE RIVER DUMPING AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

The Komati Basin Water Authority collaborated with; the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), the Nkomazi Local Municipality (NLM), the Matsamo Traditional Authority (MTA) and the Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Agency (IUCMA) and sensitised communities about the dangers of river dumping to humans and to aquatic life. The public is encourage to adopt proper, sustainable ways of disposing garbage be it domestic-generated or business generated garbage, it has to be disposed in dumping sites that are managed by the local municipality

The targeted audiences were: women, businesses and the general public.

The theme of the exercise was; Water and Environment Management Campaign” and the slogan of the exercise is: “Love Your Rivers: Keep Them Clean” = “Tsandza Imifula Yakho: Yigcine Ihlobile”

This campaign includes issues of waste management, protection of the environment and encourages the public to adopt proper ways to dispose garbage.

The first leg of the campaign started with a clean-up of the area that surrounds Ingugwane River at Jeppes Reef, next to the Driekoppies Dam. Cleaners comprised of employees from; the Nkomazi Local Municipality, Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Agency, Department of Water and Sanitation, the Komati Basin Water Authority and the general public.

After welcoming remarks by the Councillor of Jeppes Reef, Mr Motsa, Participants started removing trash with vigour. Participants attacked the garbage dumped around the Ngugwane River on either side of the bridge and later removed visible garbage on the peripheries of the River. After the clean-up, Mr Ngomane a Member of the Mayoral Committee thanked all participants for demonstrating how a water source should be kept clean. He further thanked KOBWA for initiating the campaign and hoped that the exercise will result in the reduction of river-dumping and ultimately a reduction of all health and environment problems associated with polluted rivers.

JEPPES REEF/SCHOEMANSDAL CLEANUP

      

(L) Participants get ready to clean the Ngungwane River. (R) A Nkomazi Municipality employee removing garbage from the river.

 

 KOBWA employee & Mr Sonnyboy Mhlongo (I-UCMA) pick litter along the Ngugwane River.

 

TONGA CLEAN-UP

At Tonga, the clean-up was conducted at the Tonga Weir. Ms Lubisi the Councillor of Tonga welcomed participants. She appreciated the collaborative effort of KOBWA, IUCMA, NLM and DWS in sensitising the public about the dangers of river-dumping and also demonstrating hands-on, by removing garbage, the need to keep water sources in an impeccable condition.

(L)Ms Lubisi, Tonga Councillor, welcomes participants to the clean-up exercise. (R) Participants disperse to clean the banks of the Komati River.

 

Campaigners clean near the Tonga Bridge, with the garbage bags to be collected by the Nkomazi Local Municipality truck.

 

KOMATIPOORT CLEAN-UP 

At Komatipoort, participants split into two groups. One group focused on the bridge of the Komati River next to the South Africa/Mozambique border and a second group cleaned the Komatipoort gauging weir. Before cleaning began, Mr. Mathonsi the Councillor for Komatipoort welcomed all Participants. He stressed the importance of understanding the catastrophic consequences of polluted water sources to human life and to the environment. He stated that responsibility must begin with an individual and demonstrated by properly disposing of garbage and not dumping near or at water sources. He proceeded to thank all participants for dedicating time to clean the Nkomati Bridge and the Komatipoort weir.

                                                            

above: Komatipoort Councillor, Mr Mathonsi welcomes participants to the clean-up exercise.

above: Cleaning the Lebombo Weir by Ms Thobekile Ngwenya (l) & Nkomazi Local Municipality employees (r).  

 

The Mashobeni Anti Net Fishing Awareness Exercise

KOBWA engaged the community of Mashobeni and promoted environmentally sustainable means of fishing (rod fishing) and educated the communities about the disasterous consequences of net fishing.  The major stakeholders who collaborated with KOBWA in promoting sustainable fishing were; the Ministry of Agriculture, the Swaziland Environment Authority (SEA), the Royal Swaziland Police – Piggs Peak and the Lake Matsamo Project Committee (LMPC). 

 

This awareness exercise was launched in November at Matsamo business centre where participants conducted a clean-up exercise next to the Mnyambasa River.  Participants included, entrepreneurs who are based at Matsamo and members of the Mashobeni community.  The clean-up was meant to demonstrate the importance of keeping areas next to rivers in impeccable conditions.  Rivers where dumping of garbage is dumping is a risk to the health and survival of aquatic life. During the clean-up, the public was addressed by the KOBWA Environment Officer, the Manager-Corporate Support, Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries Officer, Officer from the Swaziland Environment Authority and one from the Royal Swaziland Police.  The emphasis was on the importance of protecting the survival of aquatic life by fishing using rods and not nets and keeping the areas next to rivers clean.

  

 

The second phase of the sensitization exercise was a community meeting that was held at Mayiwane High School.  More than three hundred (300) people attended this event.  Speakers included; Mr. Mamba Indvuna of Mashobeni, Mr. Magagula from the Fisheries Department – Ministry of Agricultrue, Ms. Dlamini from the Royal Swaziland Police – Matsamo and Ms Thobekile Ngwenya from KOBWA.  Speakers highlighted the following; that net-fishing was crippling the survival of fish in rivers and in Dams, that was a criminal offence, its practice was a risk to human life and that rod fishing must be adobted as the best method of fishing.