EDITING BY MICHELLE NG AND BARBARA VAN KOPPENVIDEOS BY THE RESIDENTS OF GA-MOELA AND TSHAKHUMA
In 2002, the South African government promised its citizens 6,000 liters of water per household per month. The scope of this promise led to a model in which municipalities outsource water projects to contractors, who can ignore communities’ priorities and leave projects unfinished.
The Multiple-use water services (MUS) project is piloting a six-step community-driven process to explore how communities, municipalities and NGOs in South Africa can collaborate to supply people with water, as an alternative to the contractor model.The residents of Ga-Moela — one of six participating communities — produced a participatory video to describe their experience with the MUS project.
“I couldn’t believe it,” says Thembi Mafete, a woman from Ga-Moela who had been traveling when she heard the news. “I drove eight hours in a taxi to see it with my own eyes!”
Participants in the MUS Forum report their preference for the MUS process over the contractor model, which had neglected to consult them about past water projects and produced infrastructure that was unfinished, low quality and unhelpful.
Whereas Ga-Moela's residents used the six steps to build their own water infrastructure from scratch, Tshakhuma's residents applied the MUS methodology to support their ongoing efforts and citizen-led innovations with self-supply.
Tshakhuma's MUS Forum also produced a participatory video showing their journey to a reliable water supply for 12,000 residents, which began long before the MUS project.
South Africa’s recent election creates new hope for communities without access to water, which underpins all other human rights. With the community-driven MUS process, it may be able to fulfill its promises, while leaving no one behind.
The Ga-Moela participatory video was created by Aaron Masolo, Alpheus Machianoke, Ben Mafete, Caroline Moela, Evah Moela, Johannes Moela, Lizzy Masolo, Mixon Makgoga, MK Phasha (Tsogang), M. Piet Moela, Ntshitshimale Petrus Moela, P. Masolo, Regina S. Moretsele, Samuel Masolo and Velicia Maleka.
The Tshakhuma participatory video was created by Alfred Ntshauba, Anastacia Luthada, Lazarus Nedzamba, Ndou Mpho, Negondeni Florence T. and Nemaswie Humbulani and Sydney “Oros” Malatji (Tsogang).
The MUS project is being implemented by the Water Research Commission, with generous funding from the African Water Facility of the African Development Bank. Tsogang Water and Sanitation leads the project's facilitation, while the International Water Management Institute is responsible for its research component.
Throughout IWMI's "Voicing Water Visions" campaign, we hear from people affected by environmental injustice — from hydropower in Nepal to farmer-led irrigation in Ghana — in their own photos and words.
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