It might seem an unnecessary exercise to some, but the fact that our partners in the eThekwini Municipality took the time and effort to consider the eco-system in which the Western Aqueduct Project took place, spoke volumes to us.
Phase 2 of the project cuts through the Valley of a Thousand Hills. The hills are home to many residents, and are also a well-known and beautiful, tourist destination. On one of these hills an exciting discovery was made: a special type of grass, which is found nowhere else in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, was growing. This discovery could not be ignored. A plan had to be devised that would preserve the grasses for replanting, once construction, was complete. Additionally, once replanted, the sustainability of the grasses had to be ensured under severe water restrictions brought on by the drought.
Despite these concerns, the Northern Corridor was mapped and the placement of the grasses, shrubs and trees on the hill, was documented. Samples of the grasses were provided to a nursery in the Albert Falls area, where they were grown and nurtured. Once the topsoil and fertiliser had been laid on the hill, the grasses, shrubs and trees, were replanted in their exact position.
Those of us in the business of development, whether structural or human, can no longer ignore the fact that we live on a planet under severe stress. Going forward, every effort, no matter how seemingly small, should be taken to restore the eco-systems in which we work, to their previous state.
European Union (EU)
Investment Programme of South Africa (IIPSA)
Agence Française de Développement (AFD)