Penz Malinga hosted a water workshop for the Mpophomeni Community last week and compiled this report.
On a lovely and sunny Friday morning I was joined by Mnqobi, Sihle, Asanda, Philani, Sphe and Andile. We were all excited and ready to tackle the task of testing the waters of the Mthinzima stream.
As we walked past the newly built houses on the wetland we chatted about how the people who planned to live in those houses would spend most of their summer under a few centimetres of water due to their location.
We reached the stream at a cattle crossing marked by a lot of dung in and around the water.
We could note a bad stench as we got closer to the water but jumped in nevertheless.
All the testing sites were in the sandy type category and the results were as follows:
|29.56357 s30.18328 e||flatworm, snails, bloodworm||3.00 Critically modified, very poor condition|
|29.55104 s30.15512 e||Flatworm, worms, crab, true-flies||3.25 Critically modified, very poor condition|
|29.55483 s30.18835 e||flatworm, snails, bloodworm||3.00 Critically modified, very poor condition|
|29.54645 s30.18991 e||Crab, bloodworm, snail, bugs and beetles||4.00 Critically modified, very poor condition|
During our third test we noticed a dead snake floating about and we all halted for a bit to inspect it. It was a night adder. Mnqobi wanted to take it and sell it to an inyanga but Sihle said it would smell too bad as they walked home with it.
We noted a lot of interesting wildflowers and fungi.
The boys were particularly interested in the so-called love charms. I told them that my grandfather was a Healer and the only love charm I knew of was made of the flowers of the sweat pea (vigna vexillata), mixed with the fat of an animal that mates for life. Apparently all that you had to do was rub the mixture on your brow and make sure that the first person you look at is the one your heart desires. The boys promised not to try out the remedy due to the fact that an innocent creature would have to be killed.
After the water testing was all done, we went to explore the ruins of the Dairy Farm on the Midmar side of the road and gazed across the dam at the red hartebeest buck in the distance.
This workshop is one of twelve which will be conducted in local conservancies in the next few months, funded by N3TC. Results have been loaded onto the miniSass site – www.minisass.org