For the past 3 years DEAT SRPP (Social Responsibility, Policy & Projects) has funded the Mussel Rehabilitation Project (MRP) which has been implemented by Walter Sisulu University along the Wild Coast between Umtata Mouth and Hole in the Wall. Download the video: Mussel Harvest The initiative has, without a doubt, been one of the most successful and effective social responsibility projects in the Eastern Cape. It has not only proven that rehabilitation and controlled harvesting of mussel beds is sustainable, but has literally produced tons of protein rich mussels for the benefit of the local community, while also contributing employment, skills training, environmental awareness, resource monitoring, catch-data collation, and many other vital linkages and benefits. Operating since 2000 under the care and guidance of Zoology lecturer, Dr. Calvo-Ugarteburu (affectionately known by all as “Gugu”), the Mussel Rehabilitation & Food Production Project has been funded variously by Marine & Coastal Management (MCM), WWF, and DEAT SRPP. To provide sustainable food security, the project has also created a vegetable seedling nursery, 9 community gardens, and a home gardening programme which conducted training workshops and provided vegetable seedlings and fruit trees for a thousand households in the area. Over the years extensive Household Livelihood Security Assessments (HLSA) have been conducted by WSU throughout the 15 marginalized villages along this rugged 20km stretch of coastline (one of the poorest and most disenfranchised regions of South Africa), support relationships have been forged with government departments and municipal LED (Local Economic Development) departments; and vital linkages between the community and relevant NGOs, including WWF, Masifundise & WESSA have been created. Gugu has been a relentless campaigner for subsistence fishers’ rights and legislative reform, and the community members who have contributed to the rehabilitated sites have, through her efforts, been issued with exemption permits which allow them to legally harvest up to 5 liters of mussels per day, instead of the impractical and unrealistic bag-limit of 30 mussels per subsistence or recreational permit holder. (Imagine feeding your entire family, which depends on them as a primary protein source, on only 30 mussels.) The Mussel Rehabilitation Project provides food security and essential socio-economic development, while ensuring sustainable use through ongoing monitoring and management of the natural resources. It can clearly be seen, in fact, to be nurturing the natural environment for the benefit of everyone. Furthermore, MRP and the local management committee (comprised of representatives from each village who have freely contributed their time and energy over many years) play an invaluable role between government and the community vis-à-vis subsistence level coastal livelihoods; and lobby for vital changes to impractical or discriminatory sections of the Marine Living Resources Act of 1998 (MLRA). In May 2008 the project celebrated its first official harvest at the successfully rehabilitated Nqutheni site illegally, as the exemption permit had not been processed in time. Despite the lacking formality, the harvest went ahead with the tacit blessings of MCM, and was attended by officials from several sectors of government who all enjoyed a great mussel meal, provided by the 60 or so harvesters, afterwards. Community members are employed as:
Other community members have been trained in agricultural practices and are employed by the Project as:
? Garden Competition: To incentivize local gardeners and promote the nursery, a home vegetable garden competition was held in 2009. Over 130 entries were received and individually judged. Representatives from the Department of Agriculture (Mqanduli) selected and judged the top 10 gardens. 1'st Place won R1,000 2'nd won R750 3'rd won R500 7 Runners up each received R250 20 more each received R100
Community Gardens: Many others benefit from communal gardens which have been established with efficient drip-irrigation and foot-treadle pump systems.
Self catering lodge in Port St Johns area, offering rooms or whole lodge rental.
Rates, facilities, property images, and location map included in website.
Paradise. Right Here, Right Now.
If you want to get off the beaten track to a place that is unique for its beauty and unspoilt surroundings, you will love Khululeka Retreat.
Set in an Indigenous State Forest high on a hill with an awesome 180-degree view of the sea and estuary, Khululeka Retreat is just that. Peaceful, private and remote.
NEW: Xhosa Live Dictionary Best online Xhosa - English dictionary. Translates individual words from/to English or Xhosa.
Xhosa Translator For translating whole sentences. Doesn't work well with individual words.
English/Xhosa/English Dictionary Large database and easy to use search engine. No grammatical explanations, and some entries are inaccurate. Better suited for Xhosa speakers learning English, as many entries contain one English word with long Xhosa descriptions.
Webster's Online Dictionary A list of Xhosa words (and some random phrases) that have been translated from English. Not very extensive. And these resources:
A spectacular glimpse of the Wild Coast.
<b>Available from http://www.impactvideo.co.za/prod_det.asp?ID=1520 </b>
Shoreline is a South African documentary series commissioned by SABC 2. It is a multidisciplinary showcase of all the unique and diverse features along our coastline – geology, paleontology, history, settlement patterns, marine biology, ecology etc.
One of the main features of this series is that it is presented by a team of specialist presenters – archaeologist Gavin Whitelaw, historian Nomalanga Mkhize and marine biologist Eleanor Yeld. Anchor presenter Peter Butler and his dog Nujack guide our experts on the journey around the coast.
Shoreline consists of 13 episodes and in each episode we visit a stretch of coastline to get a sense of its character and stories to help build a picture of our unique coastline. We reveal how natural wonders and historic events have shaped the lives of coastal communities.’
The Shoreline DVD box set will be available after the series ends on 12 October 2009. SABC will also be giving away several DVD box sets of the series. See www.ourshoreline.co.za for competition details.
"This untamed wilderness is filled with rolling green hills and unspoilt beaches, secluded bays fringed with wild banana trees, tranquil lagoons and dense coastal forests, deeply carved valleys and precipitous cliffs where waterfalls plummet into the sea.
Violent storms and monstrous waves sometimes batter the coast, and many ships have met an untimely end here. Ancient myths and legends are rife, and the diverse peoples represent a rich cultural heritage. This is a shoreline truly deserving of its name – the Wild Coast."
"A recent study of the flora of four sites in the PC has revealed 2253 different species, of which 196 were endemic to the PC. This level of floral diversity is truly impressive, considering that the whole of Great Britain contains only about 1400 species. Species density in the PC is also exceptionally high, with about 2500 species in 1900 km2 – compared to about 9 000 species in 90 000 km2 in the Cape Flora. Scientifically, the PC has been comparatively poorly surveyed, and new plant species are continually being discovered. The region is particularly rich in woody endemics, and contains more than 30 endemic species of robust creepers, shrubs and trees – the highest count for endemic tree species in South Africa. The PC contains many rare and unusual plants, and some are so rare that no local names are known, such as the so-called Pondo Bushman’s tea (Lydenburgia abbottii). This is the rarest forest tree endemic to South Africa, with only about 200-500 specimens in existence. The entire population occurs between the Amphitheatre in the Umtamvuna Nature Reserve and the Msikaba River – a total range of only 40 kilometres. It is estimated that many of the trees could be as old as 1000 years."
When you're in Coffee Bay, a great way to spend some time is visiting Jah Drums.
You can make your own drum at Jah Drums Drum Factory; or simply buy one of their professional instruments.
Also visit the restaurant and enjoy some Ital food prepared by Isham.
The Lorax was written and illustrated by Theodore (Dr. Seuss) Giesel in 1971 as a colorful childrens book, with a biting satirical message - for adults and children alike - about man's tendency to invade and destroy his natural environment. It is a pointed commentary on the expansion of the logging industry in the early 70s that is even more relevant today than it was 38 years ago when he created it.
The cute, furry Lorax is believed to be a representation of the great northern owl of the Pacific Northwest, which makes its home in the coastal redwoods and Douglas fir trees.
Read http://chokingplanet.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/dr-seuss-had-it-right/ about the controversy The Lorax stirred up in America.
“Aren’t you ashamed?” Asks the Lorax. “The things you are doing are completely ungood”
“But if I didn’t do it, then someone else would,” says the Once-ler.
"Mister!", he said with a sawdusty sneeze,
"I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues,
And I'm asking you, sir, at the top of my lungs" --
He was very upset as he shouted and puffed --
"What's that THING you've made out of my Truffula tuft?"
I am the Lorax! I speak for the trees,
Which you seem to be chopping down as fast as you please;
But I also speak for the brown Barbaloots,
Who frolicked and played in their Barbaloot suits,
Happily eating Truffula fruits.
Now, since you've chopped the trees to the ground
There's not enough Truffula fruit to go 'round!
And my poor Barbaloots are all feeling the crummies
Because they have gas, and no food, in their tummies.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It's not.
Catch! calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
It's a Truffula Seed.
It's the last one of all!
You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.
Now all that was left 'neath the bad-smelling sky
was my big empty factory...
The Lorax said nothing
just gave me a glance. Just gave me a very sad, sad backward glance.
He lifted himself by the seat of his pants and i'll never forget the grim look on his face
as he hoisted himself and took leave of this place through a hole in the smog without
leaving a trace
and all that the Lorax left here in this mess was a small pile of rocks with one word.
The Best way to experience the beauty of the Wild Coast is to take the 5 day hiking trail run by Jimmy and Mbuyi. Please visit their site for more information, rates and details at www.wildcoasthikes.com.
The Port St. Johns to Coffee Bay Hiking Trail goes through some of the most beautiful hiking landscape in South Africa. The trail hugs a stretch of coastline along the former Transkei homeland, and is unspoilt and barely touched by development. You will walk along rolling grassy hills dotted with colourful huts, idyllic beaches, estuaries flanked by thick coastal forest and cliffs with stunning sea views. Hikers sleep in hikers’ huts and village accommodation. You will also learn a little bit of Xhosa Language and experience the Xhosa food. If you’re hiking at the right time of the year, you will most likely see dolphins and whales.
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
By Hilary Venables
Radio reports that the controversial Wild Coast toll road has been approved are not only premature, but part of a deliberate campaign of disinformation by certain members of government, according to opponents of the scheme.
The SABC carried the claim in a succession of both English and Xhosa bulletins last Sunday, basing it on comments made by the Minister of Co-Operative Governance, Sicelo Shiceka. It’s the second time in a month that the national broadcaster has reported Shiceka as saying the toll road has been given the official go-ahead.
In fact, no decision has yet been made. A spokesperson for the Department of Water and the Environment, which has yet to consider the application, confirmed that they were still waiting for the report on the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Social worker John Clarke, a spokesperson for Sustain the Wild Coast and the Amadiba Crisis Committee, said certain politicians were deliberately spreading misinformation.
GOVERNMENT has approved plans for the construction of a toll route through the Wild Coast in the face of fierce opposition from environmentalists and the royal house of AmaMpondo.
The project, initially intended to take off some 10 years ago, has been stalled by objections from Pondoland communities whose homes the road will cut through, and from environmentalists who fear the ecological impact.
Environmentalists are also concerned a portion of the road between Lusikisiki and Port Edward will bisect the Pondoland Centre of Endemism (PCE) sections of the proposed Wild Coast/Pondoland National Park.
The approval of the project, by Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka, was justified by the economic spin-offs in an area of severe poverty and disease.
Simon Max Bannister has compiled a brilliant photo essay of his hike around Mzamba and Xolobeni.
Do yourself a favor and follow this link: simontothemax.blogspot.com and see for yourself the unspoilt beauty of the threatened area.
Better yet, contact Benny Mbotho on 079-1985 975 / or through Sonya on 074-336 7862 - for a guided day-trip, or longer hike.
Also do check the rest of Simon's Blog which features some of his fascinating "recycled" artwork.
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