January saw the resumption of most of our projects across various provinces. Though some activities continued through out the December holidays, most of our projects took time off to both rest and reflect on what the coming year has in store. Below, we provide you with updates of what we were up to during the month of January.
MADIKWE APICULTURE PROJECT
The youthful group kick started the year on an exciting note. They have been able to construct the additional hives required for their beehive fence, which allowed them to mount the hives in order to protect identified indigenous trees. We are also pleased to report that the hives that were erected by the group last year have been significantly occupied by bees, a great sign indicating that they will be expecting to yield honey from them this coming season.
#BIKES4ERP MADIKWE DELIVERY
As already alluded to late last year, #Bikes4ERP managed to deliver 57 bicycles in memory of Gert Vermeulen, the co-founder of this initiative who sadly, senselessly and tragically lost his life last year at the hands of criminal elements. The bicycles were delivered on the 22nd of January at an event held at the Barokologadi Community Hall in Pitsedisulejang village. We once again identified Olefile Secondary School to benefit from this initiative, given their standing as the only secondary school in the area, and their association with the Barokologadi Community Property Association, who entered into a long term partnership arrangement with ERP. We anticipate an improvement in the academic performance of the beneficiary students, some of whom have also benefited from other ERP initiatives including the Math U programme for Maths and Science.
MADIKWE FEEDING SCHEME
ERP once again delivered food parcels to around 500 beneficiaries living in the four beneficiary villages that are members of the Barokologadi Community Property Association (BCPA). This was to ensure that they would be provided with adequate food over two months prior to and during the Festive Season. Delivery was in light of our long term partnership between ERP and the BCPA, which is ensuring that benefits accrue to the community in tandem with the work which is carried out in terms of conservation and community development. Plans are in place to raise funds for the provision of water and the establishment of food gardens, managed by local community members in all four beneficiary villages, to ensure that they will not, in the future, be deprived of basic and essential food to sustain them.
MADIKWE E’PAP DONATION
Through the P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, ERP donated 10 bags of e’Pap to feed the orphans and vulnerable elderly people within the BCPA communities. This donation was received by the David Katnagel Clinic, who then distributed the supplement to the elderly as well as to primary school students at Maretlwana School, one of the schools that has benefited from the #Bikes4ERP initiative. The remainder of the consignment will be distributed to needy clients who visit the clinic on a daily basis.
The seasonal rains came at a crucial time for the growth of the chilli crop, especially in December. Although some of the crop was negatively affected by the excessive rain, corrective measures have been taken in order to replace lost nitrogen in the soil. Currently, we anticipate a great yield, which would give the Cooperative an exceptional financial return given the current high chilli prices from various markets. The Cooperative also managed to harvest approximately 130 kgs of raw honey. This yield would have been higher if the earlier rains in 2021 had not negatively affected the forage for the bees. They will however, shortly, be selling their honey yield to Portia Morudi, who manages all ERP honey related initiatives. A major portion of the honey which Portia produces has already been contracted to and supplied to the Food Lovers Market, where the consignment sold out rapidly and she is now in the process of fulfilling the next order for ERP branded honey.
NTSHABELENG WASTE COOPERATIVE
In spite of a recent set back that the Cooperative experienced with regard to the sale of their plastic bottles (PET) to their buyer towards the end of 2021, they managed to sell over 5 tonnes of the product during January. This came about as a much appreciated financial boost for them. In addition, the Cooperative, through the committed mentorship and guidance of Lorraine Mabeba, have re started their organic waste initiative, which they will conduct using the Bokashi Composting method. The organic waste will enable them to supplement their income from the selling of dry solid waste. In addition, the group will be planting new vegetables for their food for waste programme aimed at promoting good nutrition amongst waste collectors.
VAALWATER OUTREACH PROGRAMME
During the month of December, the Vaalwater Centre which is funded and supported by ERP, organised and participated in a business management outreach programme that benefitted youth from the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. This course was funded by the Department of Environment Affairs, and our Chairman Lesiba Masibe managed to meet and motivate these youth, whilst Letticia Mahlatji delivered an environmental awareness talk that touched on poaching and its impact on the tourism industry.Apart from participating at the business management programme, Waterberg Waves which is at the Vaalwater Centre has been running a daily climate change programme which has been sponsored by USAID. This has seen the radio station covering such crucial topics as nature protection, Ecotourism and the need for career guidance especially where nature conservation is concerned. In addition, they also managed to discuss about various species, including birds, snakes and various insects, and how all these have differeent roles within the ecosystem. All this was over and above the daily ERP programme promoting the conservation of elephants and rhinos through poverty alleviation.
We hope you enjoyed the updates we had to share with you, and we wish you all a prosperous 2022.