In May 2013, Khulumani was engaged by the Institute for Water Research to consider becoming the community partner in Building a Peoples’ Water Science for a Peoples’ Water Movement into the future.
The Makana Khulumani Water for Dignity Team comprises 5 local youth activists who are engaged in a range of activities including building community water dialogue forums, conducting household access to water surveys, monitoring water quality, documenting the prevalence of diarrhoea at Grahamstown East schools and clinics, walking the length of the Matyana River that runs through the townships to assess pollution, working to ensure every township school has at least one working toilet and one hand-washing station and monitoring water matters in the media.
There have been protracted problems with water provision to Grahamstown’s townships. It was when the residences of Rhodes University were left without water for two weeks that the lack of access to water became headline news in the national media with the Vice Chancellor of the university leading a march to the offices of the Municipality. As a result resources have been provided to install working water pumps but this is a solution that excludes the townships that have suffered many water challenges over many years.
Two critical thrusts in this project are:
* the building of community capacity for expanded roles in relation to water resource management; and
* the building of citizen knowledge about the implications of their impacts on long-term sustainability of the country’s water resources.