ESWADE has done it again!! This time the organization scooped four awards from a total of six entries that were submitted in different categories. The Temvelo awards is an annual event that is hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs (MTEA). This is where organisations, companies and ministries in the environment fraternity come together to acknowledge, recognise, honour and award all that have demonstrated exceptional performance and commitment on the protection of the environment.
The four awards received by the entity are in the following categories:
- Green Parastatal (which has been won for the second time in a row)
- Water Conservation
- Biodiversity offset agribusiness
- Best conservation agriculture project
ESWADE CEO Mr. Samson Sithole in his remarks said that the ESWADE continues to carry its mandate of reducing poverty and enhancing sustainable development in the different communities where ESWADE projects are found. Talking to nature-based solutions, he presented on gains made by the Smallholder Market Led Project (SMLP)/ Climate Smart Agriculture for Resilient Livelihoods (CSARL). He mentioned that the SMLP deals with climate change response to ensure that communities adapt to the climate change impacts in their livelihoods.
“The project ensures that resource planning and agricultural production are underpinned by Sustainable Land and Water Management that provides a sound ecological base for production, he said”. The SMLP is therefore a project that is based on land rehabilitation, biodiversity protection and climate change mitigation.
To date the project has engaged communities on land rehabilitation interventions. About 128 ha of previously degraded lands have been restored through mechanical and biological measures that are done through the installation of gabion baskets. These gabion baskets act as silt traps and the planting of trees is highly promoted to prevent the soil from being washed away. He also mentioned that for communities that experience bigger dongas, earth machinery to assist in the reshaping of the gulley’s has been contracted to ensure recovery.
Sithole also highlighted that communities continue to be engaged in the restoration of ecosystems to conserve biodiversity and to ensure that even lost species are regenerated. This he said has been done by the fencing of wetlands in communities. “The fencing of wetlands has enabled for the recharge of water to an extent that some communities are now benefiting from these increased volumes, not only for domestic use but also for livestock. He further highlighted that this has also generated small businesses for the women since they are now able to use the various grasses that grow on the wetlands and are also able to make an income because they are now able to design and develop products such as grass mats that they sell to generate an income. “The ESWADE has demonstrated visible strategies in the adoption of green technologies in the mitigation and adaptation to impacts of climate change”. Sithole said the ESWADE SMLP continues to engage smallholder subsistence farmers on conservation agriculture and permaculture interventions. “These are environmentally and ecologically sound and ensure minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop diversification, he said”.
He said that it is through such interventions that farmers are able to maintain and boost crop yields and profits while reversing land degradation, also protecting the environment and responding to growing challenges of climate change.