The Khulumani Water for Dignity (KWfD) team and Institute for Water Research (IWR) met at the Vukani creche in Vukani township in Grahamstown on 11 May 2015.
KWfD team members are Mr Mbulelo Lipile, Ms Xolelwa Nzwana, Ms Phumla Dasa and Ms Queen Singata. They met with Professor Jay O'Keeffe, a water scientist associated with UNESCO and Mr Nick Hamer, a facilitator of the Jongaphambili Sinethemba Project Group which last week won the Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Award for Community Engagement for their work on Social Learning for Adaptation to an Uncertain Future.
Khulumani has been drawing on the Social Learning manual produced in the project for capacity development of its member groups for community-driven development.
The meeting reviewed the team's plans and discussed principles that would be useful for the efficient and sustainable practice of the team and for promoting healthy engagement within the team and with the IWR (Institute for Water Research) as the research partner.
The team has been conducting house-to-house visits using the Citizen Report Card that they developed and a survey process in Vukani township to identify the challenges that residents experience in accessing water.
Some Background on the Jongaphambili Sinethemba Project
The project outputs can be accessed a the following URLs:
Jongaphambili Sinethemba (looking forward, we have hope) has been an engaged research project into climate change and adaptation in rural contexts where vulnerability is exacerbated by multiple stressors.
The participating communities were Lessyton, outside Queenstown and Willowvale, outside Dutywa.
The project explored various aspects of food security, health, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change under multiple stressors and developed a ground breaking social learning process to ensure the concerns and voices of community members were heard in the research project.
The overarching purpose was to build capacity to assist communities to adapt to climate change and other stresses that people face; and to establish platforms for co-learning.
The social learning process was therefore not only focused on climate change and adaptation as identified by the researchers, but also on the contextualised vulnerabilities that people in the communities themselves identified as important.
Their aim was not simply to build an understanding of community capacities for adaptation together with community partners, but also to expand on existing practices within communities, while at the same time developing insight into what a social-learning approach means for how participatory processes are designed in the future.
A donation of Safe Water Sensors from the Richard Sholley Foundation
Khulumani appreciates the donation of the Richard Sholley Foundation of 100 Water Pasteurization Indicators for use in the Water for Dignity Project. The group will plan a process for documenting which households have received the Safe Water Sensors and the process of providing education on their effective use.