Freshwater ecosystems provide animals (fish, frogs and insects) with habitats. Even some species that live in our seas, for example the Longfin Eel (Anguilla mossambica) rely on the Limpopo River for breeding, an important stage for population survival.
The rivers also provide people with water for drinking as well as development. However, this strategically-important resource faces a variety of threats; inequality to access of resources, pollution from unsustainable activities such as mining, non-inclusive development, climate change, and sanitation crisis.
A variety of groups including marginalized youth and women need to be included in focus groups or meetings where conservation and development issues are discussed. In South Africa, the Department of Water and Sanitation partners with a variety of organizations to include the public in development that is related to water resources. For example, in the Marico River Catchment, this platform includes developing farmers. These farmers also get to raise their concerns and interact with the experienced commercial farmers. This space is also important for learning exchanges among these groups and can provide much-needed information to encourage developing farmers to use recently-acquired land productively.
Source to Sea Programme Manager, Bridget Corrigan (right), presenting at an inclusive meeting at Koffiekraal, North West Province.
Moreover, the rural people vulnerable are not adequately adapted to extreme climate conditions such as drought and floods. To adapt Southern African farmers need to switch from the ploughing to more suitable methods used in conservation agriculture.