There are exciting things happening in the communities close to the Khayelitsha Wetlands Park in Makhaza.
These wetlands, and the Kuils River which flows into them, are severely polluted due to discharge from industries and wastewater treatment works upstream, as well as waste from the high numbers of people living in the poorly serviced areas adjacent to them. In spite of these pressures, there is still a lot of life in these waters, and a lot of cultural practices dependent upon the wetland ecosystem.
Now, members of the Makhaza community, with the support of organisations like CEJ (Coalition for Environmental Justice) and EMG, are working with the City of Cape Town Parks Department, regional DWA and others to protect the local wetlands. This kind of initiative is an important step towards adapting to climate change, because it builds the confidence and capacity of citizens to take responsibility and action for their environment, and builds relationships between local people and municipalities.