AECI WATER PROJECT IN FREE STATE – STEYNSRUS
Operation Hunger in partnership with AECI have embarked on a Hippo Water Roller project in the Free State in Steynsrus. Operation Hunger’s National Development Coordinator Clement Summerton and Regional Coordinator from Limpopo Solomon Mojela visited the community in September 2017. They held a meeting with twenty community leaders. Most of the attendees were between the ages of 20 to 40 years. There was active participation and were well informed of their community.
The township is located in the Northern Free State in Moqhaka Municipality , Fezile Dabi Region / District. Steynsrus is a township which was established long before which consists of two parts, one part which was developed and the other part less developed due to the influence of the former apartheid system of governance and consisted of only black people. After 1994, the new dispensation broke the barriers and the two areas were integrated into one and the movement of people was freed.There are 5 schools in the area.
Rain is only available from October – February then there is drought through out the year
Seasonal work is available during from December – May and thereafter no income is available at most of the HHs
Poverty is mostly experienced between February up to November each year
Crime rates increase severely between November and December
Expenditure and credit increases also during September to December each year
Health condition tend to deteriorate in the community during the winter season May to August
The Mapping system was used to depict infrastructures, natural resources, land ownership, settlement pattern, soil types and cropping pattern. This exercise also enabled the participants to freely discuss the roots of their present situation and possible future developments.
Daily Routine Between Men and Women:
This exercise enabled us to understand routine activities among different household members the time of the day. This information helped us to identify critical times for peak labour usage and gender related issues related to overwork of women.
Steynsrus township was not exceptional to social and economic hardships experienced by many black communities throughout the Republic of South Africa.
Group discussion – challenges faced by the community
Unemployment , poverty and lack of skills were highlighted as key problems facing the community. The HIV & AIDS epidemic, and other communicable diseases, substance abuse, lack of proper services such as clean & drinkable water supply were also identified.
Wealth ranking: this exercise enabled us to determine the economic attributes of house holds in this particular village. It helped us to understand social – status of the different households in the village. This importunity enables us in identifying the poor for future development planning. The ranking was done by the villages themselves.
300 hippo rollers, three Spaza stands and a garden will be provided to better the livelihood of this village. The poor will be target for these development interventions, prioritizing the elderly, the sick, the disabled and women.
The Spaza stands will be used one each at the Local clinic, taxi rank and at the school. Among goods that will be sold from the spaza stands vegetables produced from the garden project will also be included .
Participants will be trained on basic business management and marketing skills.
20 participants in total will be involved in the gardening project and six people involved in the Spaza stands.