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For Water For Life
29 minutes | 6 months ago
The voice of the natural world
Her name is not just a name, but an urgent imperative to build or establish something, and what Makhadzi Vho-Mphatheleni Makaulele has spent a lifetime building is truly great. She is the founder and director of Dzomo la Mupo, an environmental protection and cultural advocacy organisation that been central to preserving the sacred forests, lakes and waterfalls of Limpopo’s Vhembe district which are fundamental for the natural flow of water throughout the area, the livelihoods of its residents and the survival of the Venda people’s cultural and spiritual way of life. Women are at the centre of the organisation which Makhadzi Vho-Mphatheleni has built. It relies on the institution of makhadzi – a father’s senior sister in the Venda social structure– who are among the designated knowledge keepers and power-brokers of Venda society.
28 minutes | 6 months ago
How to be an eco warrior
“Our Mother Earth is on fire, and we have to stop her from burning…because [she] is in our hands, we have to take her.” This was the message youth climate activist, Yola Mgogwana presented to President Cyril Ramaphosa and a delegation of the United Nations Population Fund at a climate change symposium in 2019. She was twelve years old, at the time, but already an old hand in addressing large crowds about the devastating impact climate change is already having on young and poor people in the global south, and the urgency with which our leaders have to act to reverse its effects.
29 minutes | 6 months ago
Struggle Against Phosphate Mining in Cape West Coast
Nicola Viljoen describes the Langebaan Lagoon as the jewel of South Africa’s West Coast. It’s not hard to see why when we consider the beauty of the lagoon and the astonishing natural heritage it is host to. Nestled inside of the UNESCO recognised Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve, the lagoon and the towns around it boast a remarkable biodiversity. The reserve is located in the Cape floristic region – one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots – and the lagoon is a designated wetland of international importance supporting over 20000 birds of 250 species under the RAMSAR convention. The towns and settlements connected by the biosphere reserve are supported by tourism and small-scale farming but, for the last six years, the ecology of the lagoon and the way of life of these communities have been at the brink of a change they might never be able to come back from.
26 minutes | 6 months ago
Gogo Mahlodi is one of thousands of izangoma living and practicing as a diviner, healer and indigenous knowledge keeper in Johannesburg. Through her practice, she routinely sees how the confluence of capitalism, urban development and the breakdown of communitarian social structures have alienated her clients from matters of the spirit. Water is one of the key facilitators of the healing work that she provides, and the loss of natural environs with healthy and living lakes, rivers and springs has made it all the more difficult for her to perform the healing work that she is called to, as well as for ordinary people to form and cultivate healing spiritual relationships with themselves, with nature and with others.
23 minutes | 7 months ago
Mining Liquid Gold
For Dr Dyllon Randall, there is a real opportunity to apply the lessons the natural environment is teaching us about closing the loop on waste streams, and he believes it can be done with serious investment into the innovative and interdisciplinary collaboration that natural and social scientists are doing through initiatives like the Future Water Institute. The goal is ultimately about constantly rethinking waste streams as a resource, and extracting maximum value from them so we can achieve a sustainable future much faster.
28 minutes | 7 months ago
Resistance is Fertile
For Nazeer Sonday and the urban farmers of the PHA, the immediate goal is to secure the aquifer, the water and every person who relies on it for their food and for their livelihoods. But for the long term, they hope to be the blueprint for how to strengthen food security and local urban economies by employing regenerative water and land use practices, as well as shortening the supply chain between where food is grown and where it is ultimately sold and eaten.
25 minutes | 7 months ago
Water for the Future
From curb-cutting to build street-side seating places which double as sustainable urban drainage systems to weaving fences with alien invasive plant species to keep litter from blowing into the Jukskei’s gullies and canals, Hannelie Coetzee and Water for the Future bring design thinking and public art to respond to the question of how a large city with so little of its own water can redefine its relationship with its rivers and make the most of its water heritage.
23 minutes | 7 months ago
Land, Seed and Water
Using memory and story, Zayaan’s work aims to revitalise our understanding of the relationship between land, seed and water as the vehicles by which our society was not only divided, but through which we can imagine and cultivate more closely connected futures. She brings us into close contact with the urban apocalypse we are all part of making, and the many ways of knowing and doing which can help us to understand and live through it.
26 minutes | 8 months ago
Empatheatre speaking about Lalela Ulwandle
South Africa controls immense ocean territory. At over 1,5million square km, this tenth province of the country is larger than its total landmass. The ocean, most of which remains unexplored and unseen by human eyes, represents an extraordinary body of our natural heritage. It holds 97% of the water of this earth and a diversity of species beneath its surface that is as complex as it is vast. It is also the great blue lung of our world, producing 80% of the oxygen this planet needs to breathe. South Africa’s extensive coastline is just about the only place most of us will meet the ocean and what lies beneath it, and the relationships we form with it literally ripple out to shape all our collective future. Dr Kira Erwin is an urban sociologist who has been working at the internationally acclaimed theatre-making company, Empatheatre, to understand our interconnectedness with the ocean, and show how it connects all. They have been gathering the lived and told stories of the many and diverse people who rely on it for their livelihoods, their spirituality and their sense of home. These stories are presented in an extraordinary participatory play called Lalela uLwandle, which surfaces some of the biggest and most pressing issues concerning ocean livelihoods, heritage and governance in South Africa, and how it is that we might start responding to them. From deep sea mining to the climate crisis and its impact on our marine ecology, Lalela uLwandle forces us to listen to the water, and remember how so much of what makes us human depends on it.
26 minutes | 8 months ago
Finding water with Oom Gideon
Gideon Groenewald holds PhDs in palaeontology, hydrology and geology and he has walked the Karoo studying drought. Using satellite imagery and prayer, he discovers over a dozen boreholes a week, most recently for Gift of the Givers, in drought-stricken parts of the country, with 90% accuracy. His story matters because he and his team help communities find solutions to water problems and because the Karoo is a contested fracking site.
24 minutes | 8 months ago
Kusini Water - Macadamia Nuts and Nanotech
Murendeni Mafumo is one of many young South African innovators taking simple solutions to South Africa’s complex water and sanitation problems. He is the inventor of a water purification system that harnesses macadamia nut shells and nanotechnology to deliver clean, safe drinking water to communities which are not connected to the municipal water supply. To keep his projects sustainable, he has started a scheme under his social enterprise, Kusini Water, in which he sells bottled water as well as his water filtration devices. For every litre of water sold, his project is able to provide 20 litres of water to the communities he works with.
19 minutes | 8 months ago
Cleaning Up Cape Town's Water Canals
Georgia McTaggart is a woman with a plan to clean up Cape Town’s rivers. She is the founder of HelpUp, a community initiative which works with paid homeless residents and local volunteers to clean up and rehabilitate some of Cape Town’s most polluted rivers. To-date, they have cleaned out over 80 tonnes of rubbish from Cape Town’s rivers, including the Black River and Langa Canal, and created over 300 jobs. To bring the impact of the initiative to scale, she has been piloting the Franchises are Free initiative where local franchisers sign onto an app and HelpUp provides them with all the tools necessary to host their own clean-ups, hire employees, report on the clean-up with data and photographs and get paid for their work.
1 minutes | 9 months ago
For Water For Life - Trailer
#ForWaterForLife is a podcast series highlighting the story, the value and the scarcity of water in southern Africa. The series does this through fascinating storytelling with high stakes, aspirational lead characters, a joyful and inquisitive spirit and great production values. Hosted by Sekoetlane Phamodi and Gugulethu Mhlungu, the series ‘travels’ through South Africa in each episode, to meet a guest who has made it their life's work to protect, preserve and replenish the water supply in their unequal and water-scarce country, South Africa. From indigenous knowledge to cutting edge science, each episode reveals the challenges and insights of geologists, healers, innovators, farmers, organisers and activists as they #listentothewater.
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