A Trusted Partner
Since rolling out its first Working for Water projects in 1999, Gamtoos Irrigation Board has successfully delivered an array of Natural Resource Management Programmes (NRMP) on behalf of the National Department of Environmental Affairs. These projects form part of the Expanded Public Works Programme and are designed to create employment and skills development opportunities across the Eastern Cape.
Gamtoos Irrigation Board implements projects across the Eastern Cape – from Matatiele in the north to Tsitsikamma in the west and Lusikisiki in the east.
Alleviating poverty starts with skills development and job creation. Each year, over 300 SMME contractors assist with project implementation. Employing an average of 11 employees per team, this creates a positive economic impact for at least 3 000 additional beneficiaries and their households. Over a five-year period (2012-2017), Gamtoos Irrigation Board generated employment figures of over 1.5 million person-days.
Aside from compulsory training such as health and safety, herbicide and first aid courses for all teams, Gamtoos Irrigation Board also delivers educational initiatives designed to develop important life skills. A dedicated team in the Kouga and Kromme region provides critical guidance and support on issues such as HIV/Aids, substance abuse, child abuse and human trafficking.
Between 2012 and 2017, Working for Water projects cleared 547 697 hectares of alien invasive plants. To put this in perspective, one hectare is roughly the same size as an international rugby field.
Working for Water
To prevent, contain and reduce the density and distribution of established, invasive alien species in order to reduce their negative effects on the environment.
- Clear waterweeds and alien invasive plants on land.
Manage two indigenous plant nurseries for repopulating cleared and degraded land.
Working for Ecosystems
To regain natural habitat composition, structure and function, to enhance the delivery of ecosystem services, improve the productive potential of the land, and to develop the market for ecosystem services.
- Restore the biodiversity of degraded areas through the planting of spekboom thicket.
Rehabilitate areas where dryland erosion has taken place and soil needs to be stabilised.
Working for Wetlands
To rehabilitate wetlands to restore hydrological functions that underpin water flow and quality regulation.
- Implement major and minor structural interventions, such as gabions and concrete weirs, to reduce the degradation of natural wetlands.
- Rehabilitate wetlands to improve water quality and ensure the consistent flow of water.