How did Manukelana and Community of the UMkhanyakude and surroundings benefit from the Rare and Endangered species project?
"Geographically the project took place within UMkhanyakude District Municipality in Dukuduku area near St. Lucia which is today iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, a World Heritage Site.
Through the workshop and meetings, the members gained a lot of knowledge on on how to propagate different species, how to collect seeds, how to research plants from the the indigenous plants books, and how to construct wire baskets. They also gained knowledge on endangered species, the importance of reproducing these trees to avoid overexploitation, and, - most importantly,- networking with other, more experienced organisations that share the common gaol of conserving biodiversity and educating the community on conservation.
The Manukelana members also passed on the knowledge to other community members like traditional healers. This was done because some of the endangered species are a result of over utilisation by them for medicinal purposes. They also encouraged them to plant them in their (traditional healers) homes.
This project has encouraged the members to tell the tourists who come to visit the area about the importance of having these trees and conserving them. The South African Tourist buys them and promises to plant them in their homesteads.
The project helped the Manukelana members to build solid relations with other organisations that share the common goal. The African Conservation Trust which was the link to UNPD GEF, has helped the local community members (Manukelana) create their own trust and also mentored them into running their own organisation. The name of this organisation is Inkanyamba Development Trust is has been operating for two years in a partnership project with ACT where it was implementing the LOTTO funded project for; water harvesting, food security, greening and permaculture gardens. These projects have employed 187 people locally."
Maputaland Community Radio Station
The partnership to the radio station helped the members to get exposure and also to be able to reach at least 15 000 listeners where they were creating awareness about the overutilization of Threatened species and also environmental awareness in general.
UKZN (University of KwaZulu Natal)
This project also worked with UKZN assisting with the research, trainings and other academic support that was needed by the project.
Specialist, Botanist: Geoff Nichols
Through the link to the University we were able to meet with the Botanist and also a writer Mr Geoff Nichols who conducted some trainings and mentorship to the Manukelana members