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    Our Projects

    Molweni Outreach Program

    A prime example of community conservation at work and Kloof Conservancy’s outreach efforts to extend its “green footprint” into areas which do not have formal conservation practices, the benefits of this project are significant for both the community and the environment.

    The Molweni area is rich in biodiversity with exceptional scenery. Unfortunately, the biodiversity of the area has been deteriorating due to encroachment in an area where the priority has been survival at the expense of the environment. In response to this, the Kloof Conservancy and Uvemvane Lwe-Afrika (Butterflies of Africa), a Molweni-based social development non-profit organization, have joined forces to initiate a collaborative project.

    The project combines the resources and environmental skills of the Kloof Conservancy with Uvemvane Lwe-Afrika’s local knowledge, skills and passion. Green Corridors and 1000 Hills Tourism Association have also assisted.

    At the heart of our project is the fundamental belief that when people derive benefits from their environment, they are more inclined to protect it. Our approach to environmental education centres around the philosophy of “learning about nature by doing fun things in nature.”

    We are delighted to be the winners of the Mail & Guardian 2023 Greening the Future Award for Biodiversity Stewardship with our partner, Uvemvane Lwe-Afrika.

    Mail & Guardian 2023 Greening The Future Awards logo

    Aims

    The project has three primary aims.

    Develop Sustainable Eco-Tourism Opportunities

    Create income opportunities for the community

    Conduct Environmental Education Sessions at Schools

    Foster awareness and appreciation for the local environment

    Establish Eco-Clubs at Primary Schools

    Focus on river health, habitat and wildlife protection, and litter management

    Achievements

    Since inception, the project has achieved several significant milestones.

    Achievements of the Molweni Outreach Program - Several guides obtain their qualification

    Tourism Guide Qualification

    Three unemployed residents have become qualified tourist guides.

    Achievements of the Molweni Outreach Program - Trail builders follow a trail

    Hiking Trails Development

    20 km of hiking trails have been established, generating income for local trail builders.

    Achievements of the Molweni Outreach Program - Overock trails

    Overock Trails and Campsite

    An operational site contributing to the eco-tourism initiative.

    Achievements of the Molweni Outreach Program - Ecoclub

    Eco-Clubs at Schools

    Conducted 40 eco-tourism sessions in 2023, organizing events such as “Recycling meets Heritage” Fashion Show and tree planting days.

    Achievements of the Molweni Outreach Program - Investment in community

    Community Investment

    Invested over R300,000 in Molweni over the period 2022/2023, stimulating the local economy through employment and services.

    Read more about Eco-Tourism and the Eco-Club.

    Challenges

    The project has faced considerable challenges. Particularly, persuading tourists to visit a “township” area is difficult as they perceive safety and security concerns.

    In addition, the survival of the NPO – Uvemvane Lwe-Afrika – is heavily dependent on their ability to attract funding which has been very difficult in the current environment. The NPO needs funding to run social development, youth leadership and early childhood development programmes. Whilst Kloof Conservancy can aid with environmental programmes it does not have the resources to fund other programmes putting the overall initiative at risk.

    Despite these difficulties the project has provided a ray of hope for the Molweni Community.

    Eco-Tourism

    In November 2013, Kloof Conservancy initiated a project to construct a community park in Lower Molweni. This project was a follow-up to the Kloof Conservancy Molweni River Health Schools Project which identified incorrect use of the river as a potential problem to the water quality of the Molweni River.

    Following discussions with both the traditional and political leaders in the area it was agreed to embark on the construction of a park in Lower Molweni from where the Molweni River exits Krantzkloof Nature Reserve to where it joins the Umgeni River, a distance of approximately 3.2 km.

    Work commenced in January 2014 and a full-time team of five workers was employed to clear the riverbanks of invasive alien plants, construct paths and remove litter from the river. Three picnic sites each with a table and benches were installed. Funding was provided by Kloof Conservancy and the Durban Green Corridor. From October 2014 to October 2016 the funding for the workers was provided by the Dusi-Umgeni Conservation Trust (DUCT).

    In 2018 the project took a different direction, and it was decided in consultation with the community to embark on a sustainable Eco-Tourism initiative under the banner of a new company, Molweni Adventures, which sought to develop a core set of tourism products to attract tourists to Molweni. Molweni Adventures is heavily supported by Green Corridors and 1000 Hills Tourism Association.

    Hiking is currently the core product of Molweni Adventures and two trails have been developed. The Nogxaza Falls trail in Upper Molweni and the Granite Slide Trail in Lower Molweni. The trails have proved very popular and attract regular visitors.

    We encourage our supporters to participate in the hikes and help bring eco-tourism and its associated benefits to Molweni.

    To book a place on a hike, contact Green Corridors through their website.

    Molweni Trails Hikers

    Eco-Club

    A series of Molweni Eco-Clubs were established in 2023 in partnership with Uvemvane Lwe-Afrika and involve 70 school children from three primary schools in Molweni – Bazamile Primary School and Lamula Primary School in Lower Molweni and Sizimisele Primary School in Upper Molweni.

    In 2024 a new partnership was formed with the Outreach branch of FreeMe Wildlife. FreeMe Wildlife provide content and training for the Eco-Club facilitators who then run the sessions with the Eco-Club members. The curriculum for 2024 is as follows:

    • Biodiversity and the basic concept of what it means and why we must protect it.
    • Animal care including domestic and farm animals starts at home { wildlife cannot be protected if you do not take care of your animals at home.}
    • The role of Arthropods in the ecosystem
    • Reptiles and amphibians
    • Life beneath our feet ( the importance of soil and great soil activities)
    • Water for life
    • The value of tree’s in an ecosystem
    • Know your birds of prey and the role they play in the ecosystem
    • Species protection in SA

    The children meet for environmental education sessions at each school once per week with the focus on the following key environmental issues:

    • Litter reduction
    • Biodiversity protection (including education on the devastation caused by illegal hunting/poaching)
    • River health

    For frequent updates, visit our Facebook page or that of Uvemvane Lwe-Afrika.

    Our Projects

    Molweni Outreach Program