The Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative has received a promise of R8m in government funding, if the project itself raises R500,000 before the end of 2013. Eden to Addo has to crowd-source this funding from the public within the next 45 days to keep the government grant, and has put out an urgent appeal to supporters to contribute towards the funding target.
The Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative, a non-profit organisation from the Garden Route, has started a project to restore the Keurbooms River catchment area and improve the water flow, by clearing thousands of hectares of invasive alien plants such as wattle. The project will provide 100 much needed jobs in destitute communities, secure the sole water supply of an entire town and restore the integrity of a wilderness river ecosystem.
Infestation is increasing
The Garden Route catchments are a major priority within the Fynbos Biome (a world heritage site) for invasive alien plant control. In 2000, half the fynbos of the Keurbooms River catchment had been invaded by alien plants and it is projected that this infestation will increase steadily so that by 2025 the Keurbooms stream flow will be reduced by 95%.
This alien clearing project covers thousands of hectares of heavily alien-infested land in the mountains and hills behind Plettenberg Bay. It covers a critical catchment area for the Keurbooms River, upon which the entire town, with a population of approximately 50,000, depends. A number of existing landowners have embarked on alien clearing projects in their own capacity, but they nevertheless require significant assistance to solve the problem and truly transform this area.
Funding for wages
Funding from the Department of Environmental Affairs will provide the wages for the job opportunities to clear invader plant species. Furthermore, the resultant plant waste will be used to manufacture charcoal, which not only will reduce fire and erosion hazards but also provide entrepreneurs from local communities with small business development opportunities.
Eden to Addo will be training and employing 100 people for three years to clear 2,000ha in the Keurbooms River catchment area of alien species. Livelihood opportunities will be created for unemployed in the area and wage targets of 60% women, 20% youth and 2% disabled will be adhered to as far as possible. Further training, support and investment will be provided for the development of the eco-charcoal manufacturing businesses, thereby creating longer term self-sustaining opportunities for local entrepreneurs.
To contribute to the project, go to www.edentoaddo.co.za
, and watch the video at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/more-work-water-life