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Monday, 8th July, 2024

KOBWA LAUNCHES DONGA REHABILITATION AT ENDLEMBENI COMMUNITY

KOBWA LAUNCHES DONGA REHABILITATION AT ENDLEMBENI COMMUNITY
KOBWA CEO Mr. Trevor Shongwe addressing the audience

The Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA) together with her partners and stakeholders commemorated World Environmental Day at Endlembeni community. Themed "Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience" under the slogan ''Our Land, Our Future. We are #GenerationRestoration'', KOBWA was joined by several partners who shared their messages of support. The purpose of the commemoration was to raise awareness on how the environment can be protected from land degradation, desertification and become drought resilient ensuring that future generations have access to land that is safe and usable. In addition, KOBWA was launching a six-month project of rehabilitating a donga that has formed over time just above Maguga Dam.

KOBWA LAUNCHES DONGA REHABILITATION AT ENDLEMBENI COMMUNITY
The community and stakeholders following proceedings of the event

Representing the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr. Mbhekeni Nxumalo applauded KOBWA and Endlembeni community for coming together to restore a donga that has become a danger to the people and livestock, ultimately, causing water pollution to the dam when it rains. ''As a Ministry we are happy to witness the collaboration that has been formed between KOBWA and Endlembeni community because this will ensure that the water is kept safe and clean as it is used for irrigation and domestic purposes'' he said. The Eswatini Environmental Authority Representative Mr. Armstrong Sibandze encouraged the community to take care of the environment by adopting good waste disposal practises as waste material dumped on land gets washed into dams and rivers, as a result polluting the water. He further stated that the community should avoid cutting trees in a way that will make it not grow again as that has a potential of causing soil erosion.

KOBWA LAUNCHES DONGA REHABILITATION AT ENDLEMBENI COMMUNITY
Stakeholders viewing the donga that formed over time

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy Representative Ms. Bongekile Matsebula encouraged the community to have committees that will work on environmental issues. ''the committee will ensure that the soil, trees and land are protected from any harm'', she said. Delivering the keynote address Mr. Trevor Shongwe, KOBWA Chief Executive Officer stated that if not attended, the donga will cause a sink hole in the area and ''the soil erosion is creating silt that is slowly deposited to the Maguga Dam due to stormwater runoff, thereby slowly compromising the carrying capacity of the Maguga Dam and increasing the turbidity of the water''.

KOBWA LAUNCHES DONGA REHABILITATION AT ENDLEMBENI COMMUNITY
Mr. Ngidi explaining how the gabion basket will be used to retain the soil and compost that will be used to cover the donga

The rehabilitation process will be done in three phases. The first phase will include preparing of the site and filling up the donga with gravel waste material obtained from civil construction sites, old tyres and sawdust mixed with compost to form a substrate that will allow for seed germination. This will be followed by planting of indigenous and exotic trees (in September) and landscaping. Restoring the donga with indigenous plants not only enhances a particular area but also helps the species to survive. The last phase will consist of regular checks of the restored site to monitor weed invasion that might affect the regenerating of the trees. The extent of community ownership of the project and lessons they have learnt to use in other areas to protect the environment and avoid future occurrences will also be monitored and evaluated. Through this collaboration, Endlembeni will gain a skill for future use ''it is envisaged that by the end of this project, the community would have gained a skill which they will use to rehabilitate other dongas that are within the community'' added Mr. Shongwe.

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