triple-P wins Japanese Okayama Award 2021

triple-P was selected from 118 applications from 48 countries for the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Okayama Award 2021, awarded by the city of Okayama in Japan. The Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a key enabler in achieving all of the Sustainable Development Goal targets and thus is recognising good practices worldwide in order to further advance progress through the promotion and recognition of others doing so.

"The communities triple-P works with face social, economic and environment challenges. The townships are considered amongst the most impoverished in the Durban Municipality. The drivers of poverty are high unemployment rate, lack of skills and poor-quality education. These communities endure poor service delivery in waste management, and water and sanitation infrastructure, further impacting on the health of the community and the health of their natural environment."

triple-P won the award for our Wise Wayz Water Care Project, a community development initiative that holistically addresses social, economic and environmental issues within the context of disadvantaged communities that are affected by these issues. The project is based in Folweni and Ezimbokodweni townships along the lower Mbokodweni Catchment in Durban, South Africa and began in April 2016. The project’s main objective is to improve the health condition of the Mbokodweni Catchment while developing sustainable livelihoods for the communities living along the catchment.

The primary focus of the project is to develop skills to enable the underserved community to co-manage their local river systems and improve the local green economies through Invasive Alien Plant removal, plumbing, aquatic monitoring, agriculture, waste management and community environmental education.

The project has the potential to be upscaled to other catchment areas with similar challenges. The WWWC project was recently (May 2019) upscaled 30km further up the catchment into the rural area of Umbumbulu which still falls within Durban municipality, and will target 30 unemployed youth. In April of 2021, the project was further upscaled into the Gauteng Province, 600km from Durban, in a catchment called the Hennops River catchment demonstrating similar issues to the Mbokodweni catchmentOur long-term plan is to implement this model in similar communities across South Africa.

The project has used a diversity of education and skills as a thread that holistically addresses social, economic and the environment issues. Through peer-to-peer education the community’s perceptions and behaviours towards the environment has transformed, through communication and interpersonal skills the project beneficiaries have gained the confidence and skill to proactively approach the municipality to build a working relationship in order to address some of the socio-ecological issues. The governance and environmental skills have empowered the beneficiaries to be the leaders in promoting sustainable development by bringing green skills into communities that are void of such skills, building local economies, and inspiring their fellow community members to follow in their footsteps.