The Wise Wayz Water Care Project

triple-P first partnered with AECI Community Education and the Development Trust in 2017 to implement the Wise Wayz Water Care (WWWC) Project, based in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The project was established with the goal of improving the general health of the lower Mbokodweni Catchment and thus enable the catchment to cope with the effects of climate change. In addition, the project sought to provide the community with the necessary skills to co-manage the catchment area and support their livelihoods through enterprise development.

The Ezimbokodweni and Folweni areas are susceptible to localised flooding leading to homes being damaged during the flooding events. The extent of the flooding is exacerbated by poor drainage due to blockages in the natural drainage systems. The main drivers of these blockages are solid waste disposed of in the system, excessive growth of Alien Invasive Plants (IAPs), and illegal sand mining causing sediment build-up in the system. The illegal dumping of waste and informal effluent discharge were the two main challenges towards achieving cleaner streams. The streams feed into the Mbokodweni River, which when contaminated create a spider web of negative effects.

The foundation of triple-P’s methodology is to isolate how beneficiaries can take part in their environment, whilst earning an income through various enterprise developments, to improve the socio-economic circumstances while addressing the environmental issues. In order to achieve this successfully and sustainably, resources and time is invested in training and skills development. The beneficiaries underwent a series of training and skills development sessions relating to catchment management activities and business development, followed by continued mentorship to equip participants with the necessary skills-to-competencies to build their capacity in addressing the wellbeing of their communities and the environment.

The WWWC Project has successfully cultivated a team responsible for monitoring the health of Mbokodweni River using citizen science technology. The tests include biological assessments and water chemistry testing, of which the data is then used to educate the community about the importance of river health and to engage the municipality on issues identified. 

Additionally, the project has successfully fostered 5 SMME’s that have an environmental focus by nature while generating a sustainable income for the beneficiaries:

The Source of Life Plumbers who address water issues, identify and address seepages caused by burst pipes and informal water connections. The seepages lead to severe erosion of roads and damage to homes. The enterprise also provides basic plumbing services for the community to reduce water wastage.

Success Arts & Crafts is an enterprise addressing the issue of waste through up-cycling various waste materials.

Two of the SMMEs are co-operatives developing vegetable and poultry agriculture. They have currently received land for their endeavours and are currently seeking to procure equipment and storage facilities to move forward with their agri-developments. 

The most successful SMME, Enviro-Care Management Systems, was recently contracted by the eThekwini Municipality to clear 4.6 hectares of alien invasive plants as part of the eThekwini Working for Ecosystems Programme. Such an appointment is an acknowledgement of the development and progress of the participants of the WWWC project and triple-P’s capability in formalising business operations that create opportunities for the beneficiaries. 

Our model of walking the journey with all stakeholders involved with a strong commitment to the transferring of skills and knowledge, enterprise development and ultimately project ownership is integral to building a sustainable foundation in grooming leaders and fostering positive long-term change. The WWWC project’s successes speaks to our methodology and evokes the potential for successful development in other projects. The project has supported close to 200 beneficiaries since inception and we aim to elevate more informal operations to reputable enterprises through collaboration with the appropriate partners in all our future projects. 

For more information on the Wise Wayz Water Care Project, please contact triple-P. To support Wise Wayz Water Care directly, please visit the PayFast page.